Mountainside pool to get a ribbon cutting on the 30th - hot dogs or a hamburger part of the occasion

By Staff

June 15th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mountainside Outdoor Pool (2205 Mount Forest Dr.) is set to make a splash and re-open this summer.

A grand opening event is planned for June 30 at 3:30 p.m. with Mayor Meed Ward and members of Council to officially cut the ribbon. The community is welcome to come into Mountainside Pool for the ribbon cutting celebration followed by a free swim. Swimming at the pool will be free all weekend.

To help celebrate, Mountainside Pool visitors on June 30 will be able to get a free hotdog or hamburger, beginning at 4 p.m., while supplies last. Residents are encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle.

The pandemic and supply problems made the revitalization of the pool a challenge – Opens officially on June 30th. Former ward Councillor will be very pleased that all his early efforts made this possible. Hopefully he will be recognized.

The pool’s revitalization has created an attractive, fun, active and welcoming multi-use outdoor swimming pool. We invite the community to experience swimming and water play here and take part in free swimming on June 30 and July 1-2. Walk-in only; no registrations needed.

The ward Councillor doesn’t get even a mention in the city medias release. Would that be because he doesn’t live in the ward anymore?

Revitalization highlights include:
• A new pool with a beach entry and three separate 50M lap lanes
• Accessibility ramps
• Water spray features
• Climbing wall
• Waterslide
• Shade structures

Grand opening events
Date Time Event

June 30 3:30 to 4 p.m. Ribbon cutting
4 to 7 p.m. Free fun swim and lap swim
4 p.m. Free BBQ, while supplies last

July 1 9 to 10 a.m. Free aquafit
10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free fun swim and lap swim
1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free fun swim and lap swim
5 to 7:30 p.m. Free fun swim and lap swim

July 2 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free fun swim and lap swim
1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free fun swim and lap swim
5 to 7:30 p.m. Free fun swim and lap swim

Swimmers and participants are encouraged to use active transportation, Burlington Transit or carpool as parking is limited because of the BBQ set-up.

The pool is well used and serves on average 27,000 participants in a wide variety of activities including recreational swimming, lap swimming and learn to swim lessons each summer.

Public art
With input from public engagement, Clear Eyes Collective was chosen to create a large-scale mural as part of the Mountainside Pool Revitalization Project. The public art piece Clear Eyes Collective created is called Take a Step.

The final artwork will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

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National Indigenous Peoples Day event at Spencer Smith Park, June 21

By Staff

June 14th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City hall announced that June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day; a time for all people to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Join Indigenous leaders and support organizations to participate in an evening honouring our local Indigenous community. Enjoy traditional drumming, music, dance and ceremonial tributes ending with a fire ceremony to mark the Summer Solstice. This is a free event. No registration is required.

Location: Spencer Smith Park, west lawn
Date: Wednesday, June 21
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.

Event Details
Setting Intentions and Tobacco Ceremony: with sacred fire by elder/healer White Eagle

Performances by: Nadjiwan, Amber Kakiishiway, Red Cedar Sisters, Spring Creek Dancers and Mother’s Heartbeat Drum Group

Take part in activities offered by: Burlington ROCK, and the Ojibiikaan Indigenous Cultural Network

For more information, please visit canada.ca/national-indigenous-history-month.

Denise Beard, Manager of Community Development explains: “This event will help to both teach and to heal so we can all move forward in our Truth and Reconciliation. Residents of all cultures and backgrounds can come, actively participate or silently support in any way you feel comfortable.”

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An opportunity to really shake up politics in Ontario

By Pepper Parr

June 14th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has her eye on the prize – leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has made it abundantly clear that she will be running for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Given the serious mess the province is in, provincial politics needs a serious shake-up.

When Ms Crombie formally announces later today that she will seek the leadership, why can’t something like the following take place ?

The other announced candidates for the provincial Liberal leadership announce they are withdrawing.

The executive of the party would then move the date for the selection of the new leader from December to September.

Crombie becomes the leader of the Ontario Liberal party.

Premier Doug Ford – the headache is only going to get worse.

She spends the summer touring the province introducing herself to the public and telling the people of Ontario where Doug Ford has gotten it all wrong.

Doug Ford can spend his summer explaining his way out of the mess he has created.

Natalie Pierre, current MPP for Burlington,  spends her summer figuring out how to run a constituency office.

Former Chair of the Halton District School Board Andrea Grebenc.

Then Andrea Grebenc could announce that she will seek the nomination as the Liberal candidate for Burlington in the next election and spend her summer making sure that the people of Burlington know who she is and what she brings to the table.

Now – what’s wrong with that picture?

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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Steam Deck a piece of gaming tech that allows you to play your favourite games on the go.

By Samuel Windershot

June 14th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Poker Games Compatible with the Steam Deck

The Steam Deck is a marvellous piece of gaming tech that allows you to play your favourite games on the go. And what’s better than trying your luck in poker while out and about? As long as you have Wi-Fi access in the case of multiplayer poker games, of course. The thing is, not every game available on the Steam marketplace works on the Deck.

So, in other words, if you’re looking for some proper Canadian live casino action, you’ll be disappointed with the selection of games the Deck offers.

Half the point of the Steam Deck is that it’s portable, but the other half is that it’s a PC. With the right tools, then, you can plug into a monitor, add a mouse and keyboard, and get playing as if it were a (somewhat) conventional gaming rig.

Since the Deck runs SteamOS, which is based on Linux, unless a game has a native Linux version, it can’t run natively on your Deck. Instead, they run via the Proton compatibility layer, a collection of apps, tools, and software libraries that allows Windows games to run on Linux. While Proton works very well with a large number of games, there are a number of titles that do not work on Linux, even with Proton. If you’re interested in how Proton actually works, you can check it out here.

Valve’s Steam Deck Proton Compatibility Program Explained

Luckily, Valve has a Steam Deck Proton compatibility program in which Valve testers slowly comb through the entire Steam library, review games on the Steam Deck, and put them into one of four categories, each of which features a unique badge. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are four categories in total: Verified, Playable, Unsupported, and Unknown.

Poker Games Compatible with the Steam Deck 01

Verified games work great on the Deck without any tinkering. Playable games work, but they require gamers to set custom controller setups, use the magnifier feature to read tiny text or do something else in order to play a certain game. Unsupported games aren’t compatible with the Deck, and games with the Unknown badge aren’t tested by Valve yet. They might or might not work, so you can either download a game featuring the Unknown badge and test it yourself or wait for Valve to review it.

If you’re a Poker aficionado and don’t want to check each poker game you’re interested in manually on Steam or ProtonDB (more on this later), you can read our list of the Steam Deck-compatible poker games and see which poker games you can install and play on your Deck right away!

Full List of Poker Games Compatible With the Steam Deck

Since there aren’t many Verified poker games on the Steam marketplace, we’ve decided to divide our list into two parts. The first one includes Verified games that work great on the Deck out of the box. The second part includes games that are playable on the Deck. You can play them, but you’ll often have to tweak control settings, deal with a launcher before playing the game, or perform some other action in order to play the game. Let’s begin with Verified titles.

That Verified check mark is something you want to look for.

Poker Games Verified for the Steam Deck

Dance of Cards – A poker RPG in which you must survive a deadly cruise by beating your opponents on the poker table.

Four Kings: Video Poker – A casual single-player poker game where you can try your luck without gambling away real money.

Poker Club – A 3D poker simulation with 200-player online tournaments and more than 10 tournament modes, all based on Texas Hold ’em rules.

Poker Pretty Girls Battle: Texas Hold ’em – Another poker title based on Texas Hold ’em rules, but this time your goal is to unlock each of the 16 “kawaii” Japanese girls by winning games and advancing through the campaign.

Prominence Poker – The biggest name on the Steam Deck Verified list of Poker games. Prominence Poker is a free-to-play multiplayer poker game that features fully 3D visuals and pits you against players from around the world in various environments to battle it out on the poker table. The game also features a single-player mode where you play against AI opponents. You can customize your avatar, buy them cool accessories, and even purchase table decorations to show your opponents who’ve got the real bling!

Poker Games Playable on the Steam Deck

Below you can find every Poker game on Steam that carries the Playable Steam Deck compatibility badge. We’ve listed the game’s name along with notifications from the Steam Deck Proton compatibility program, detailing what tweaks you have to do to play the game or what issues the game has when played on Steam Deck.

Governor of Poker 3 – Entering some text requires manually invoking the on-screen keyboard.

Lords of New York – Entering some text requires manually invoking the on-screen keyboard.

MONOPOLY Poker – Entering some text requires manually invoking the on-screen keyboard.

Poker Championship – This game sometimes shows mouse, keyboard, or non-Steam-Deck controller icons.

Poker Quest: Swords and Spades – This game sometimes shows mouse, keyboard, or non-Steam-Deck controller icons; Entering some text requires manually invoking the on-screen keyboard; Some in-game text is small and may be difficult to read; This game supports Steam Deck’s native display resolution but does not set it by default and may require you to configure the display resolution manually.

The game has always had that allure.

Spicy Strip Poker – Some in-game text is small and may be difficult to read.

Strip’ Em II: Facka’s Game – Entering some text requires manually invoking the on-screen keyboard; Some in-game text is small and may be difficult to read.

The Four Kings Casino and Slots – Some functionality is not accessible when using the default controller configuration, requiring the use of the touchscreen or virtual keyboard, or a community configuration; This game sometimes shows mouse, keyboard, or non-Steam-Deck controller icons; Entering some text requires manually invoking the on-screen keyboard; Some in-game text is small and may be difficult to read.

How to Check Game Compatibility on Steam and ProtonDB.com

In case you want to check Steam Deck compatibility for a game not featured on this list there are a few ways to do it. You can do it on Steam itself or on the ProtonDB website.

How to Check Steam Deck Game Compatibility on Steam

To check whether a game’s Steam Deck is compatible, just type the query in Steam’s search box. Once you’re greeted with the results, narrow the search by clicking the Verified button in the Narrow by Deck Compatibility tab, as shown below. You can also include both Verified and Playable games or just search for games with the Playable badge.

Poker Games Compatible with the Steam Deck 02

Another way is to visit the Steam store on your Deck (press the B button and then select the Store option), go to the Search tab, and type the name of the game you’re interested in. You can search only for Verified games, or you can also include Playable games by checking the Playable button in the search menu as we did below.

Poker Games Compatible with the Steam Deck 03

Once you get the search results –in our case, we searched for Monopoly Poker– click on the game, and you’ll see its Steam Deck compatibility badge on the upper right side of the screen. In our case, Monopoly Poker is rated as Playable.

Poker Games Compatible with the Steam Deck 04

After we clicked the Learn More button, a new window opened informing us that Monopoly Poker performs well on the Deck, with the only caveat being that you have to manually enter some text via the on-screen keyboard.

How to Check Steam Deck Game Compatibility on ProtonDB.com

As kids Monopoly was a family game – its quite a bit different when it is poker that is being played.

ProtonDB is a community-based website where users share their in-game experience on Linux. As of recently, each game has separate Steam Deck and PC tabs, with the Steam Deck tab featured on the top. As you can see below, our test game, Monopoly Poker, has no reports from Steam Deck users. However, the game’s rated as Playable by the Steam Deck Proton compatibility program’s testers.

ProtonDB can be handy to Steam Deck owners because reports often include tweaks for better performance or longer battery life. For example, Prominence Poker has one report from a Steam Deck owner where they shared their custom settings that improve the battery life, as seen below.

Poker Games Compatible with the Steam Deck 05

As you can see, while there isn’t a truckload of poker games compatible with the Steam Deck that carry the Verified badge, you can play most of the games with the Playable badge without major issues.

And if the team behind the Steam Deck Proton compatibility program hasn’t yet managed to test your favourite poker game and it features the Unknown badge, nothing is stopping you from trying the game yourself or visiting ProtonDB and checking whether other Steam Deck owners have managed to run the said game. Remember, having the Unknown badge doesn’t mean the game in question isn’t compatible with the Steam Deck; it only means that members of the Steam Deck Proton compatibility program haven’t tested it yet.

 

 

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City Solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol is said to have announced her plans to retire

By Pepper Parr

June 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Nancy Shea Nicol – believed to have announced she will be retiring.

From a source that should know.

“ I understood that Nancy had announced that she was retiring but don’t recall a timeline. It’s hard to follow staff on the City website.”

See this is as good news – a change in that office has been needed for some time.

Blake Hurley is serving is as the Acting

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Acting Director Jamie Tellier announced as new Director of Community Planning

By Pepper Parr

June 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington is pleased to announce the promotion of Jamie Tellier as the City’s new of Director of Community Planning.

Finally – he should have taken the job when he had the chance. If anyone knows community, understand community and actually likes community it is Jamie Tellier

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

Tellier was chosen as the successful candidate following an extensive and competitive recruitment. As the Acting Director Community Planning, he demonstrated strategic leadership, collaborating to achieve successful outcomes and a continuous improvement mindset.

Jamie has been with the City for 21 years. He has progressed through various leadership roles in Community Planning, including two extended roles as Acting Director of Community Planning.

Over the next six months in particular, Tellier will focus on strategic priorities that are currently underway in Community Planning:

• Recruiting and developing talent to meet the growing needs of Burlington,
• Adapting the City’s organizational, policy and regulatory frameworks to adjust our work to comply with recent legislative changes, such as Bill 23,
• Introducing more tools, such as MyFiles, to improve how we do business with residents and developers to be more efficient and transparent and
• Foster a culture of collaboration between staff, partners and customers for mutual success.

Most recently, as the Manager of Planning Implementation, Tellier led a number of Continuous Improvement initiatives for the City’s Development Services area. These projects, which resulted in improved service to applicants and better outcomes for Council, residents and staff, include:

Jamie Tellier is one of the few staff members who gets excited about the work he does. You always know he loves the job he is doing. Knows how to solve a problem.

• Leading Development Services staff to develop a new Pre-Building Approval application process.
• Respond to and adapt the development application processes for Official Plan Amendments, Zoning Bylaw Amendments and Site Plan Applications. This positions the City to better respond to new provincial legislations, such as Bill 23.
• Enhance Community Planning’s teamwork with the Burlington Digital Services Department (ITS) to come up with innovative solutions to better serve the community and allow staff to focus on the development review process.

Before joining the City in 2002, Tellier worked as a planner in Palm Beach County, Florida. He has a Masters of Urban Design Studies from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies with Honours in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo.

Jamie Tellier as seen by a city photographer: Terrible picture Jamie – you shouldn’t have let them do this to you.

Tellier will continue to work with the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Service Group and report to the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility.

Brynn Nheiley, Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility got it right wen she said: “I very much look forward to continuing to work closely with Jamie as he adjusts from Acting to permanent Director. He is a wealth of corporate and departmental knowledge, innovative ideas and is very skilled at responding to the evolving challenges faced by the Community Planning department and the City.

“I would like to thank Jamie for assuming the Acting Director role these past six months, as well as big thanks to Amanda D’Angelo and Kyle Plas for taking on additional duties and responsibilities to support and maintain the high productivity of the Community Planning Department during this time.

“I am very pleased to have Jamie permanently join the Burlington Leadership Team, bringing his wealth of skills, knowledge and perspectives to the table.”

 

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Lakeshore Road closure July 4 to December

By Staff

June 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

You are all going to just love this one.

Lakeshore Road between Guelph Line and Walkers Line will be closed from July 4 to December for the replacement of Pine Cove bridge.

Pine Cove Bridge replacement: “there is no way to safely replace the bridge in sections to maintain traffic.”

Due to the age of the bridge and the way it was originally designed and installed many decades ago, there is no way to safely replace the bridge in sections to maintain traffic.

Local access will be maintained but detours will be in place around the bridge construction. Signage will be posted throughout the detour route and construction area.

This project also includes road resurfacing, multiuse pathway replacement, Tuck Creek culvert repairs, street lighting upgrades and sidewalk and curb repairs.

More details and timelines can be found here: burlington.ca/lakeshore.

Jeff Thompson, Senior Project Manager explains:  “This is a significant project that includes replacement of the Pine Cove bridge, as well as infrastructure repairs to curbs, sidewalks, street lighting and road resurfacing.

“This bridge needs to be replaced as soon as possible. It is showing signs of aging and we need to ensure it is replaced for public safety. We acknowledge the disruption this will cause but we are working as fast as possible. We thank the community for their patience as we work to improve your neighbourhood. ”

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Tech Place is in pretty good shape: Several Council members didn't know that - they chose instead to trash the work they do.

By Pepper Parr

June 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At a Standing Committee last week there was a considerable amount of discussion about why Tech Place was getting to use some prime space at the Former Bateman High School site that is being turned into a community Centre – at a cost that stunned most people.

Anita Cassidy, the Executive Director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation

Anita Cassidy, the Executive Director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation provided us with the following:

As part of the implementation of Vision 2040 Burlington Economic Development was tasked to “Create and invest in a system that supports the start-up and growth of businesses and entrepreneurship.”  An Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy was approved that recommended the development of an Innovation Centre to help strengthen and grow the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In 2017 Tech Place was launched using a reallocation of $220,000 annually of the existing economic development budget plus staff costs.

Tech Place during its 6 year lease term at its current location negotiated $12.83 per square foot for a total of 8,600 square feet resulting in an annual rent cost of $127,628 per year in rent.

The lease agreement has been extended until May 2025  at an increased rate of $17.50 per square foot resulting in an annual rental cost of $181,422 in the final year of the lease extension period at 5500 North Service road.

All costs are covered from the existing economic development budget and no additional asks to fund Tech Place have been made to the City of Burlington.

We are just short of being stunned that members of Council didn’t have these acts at their fingertips.

Related news story.

Tech Place gets a rough ride.

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The heavy lifting continues: Council takes part in a second workshop to refine the V2F part of the Strategic Plan

By Pepper Parr

June 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Described is as a Vision to Focus (V2F) Workshop, the second one to take places, it will be a  facilitated engagement to inform, consult, get feedback and have collaboration between members of Council and Burlington’s Leadership Team on the V2F actions using SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.

It is one of the, if not THE most important tasks city council undertakes this term of office.

The road that will be travelled

The public is aware that there is going to be growth, lots of it.  This Council has signed a pledge with the province that calls for the city to create 29,000 new residences by the year 2031.

There are development applications working their way through the planning approval process.

A number of them are stuck at the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Council nevertheless has to focus on what kind of a city will Burlington be at 2031, 2041 and 2051.

Mayor Meed Ward tells citizens that the city has already reached its housing commitment for 2031.

Tuesday morning the process of working through what this Council will set out to do during this term will begin – they have already had one worship where the scope and scale of the work to be done was determined.

Council, along with Staff will be taking a closer at the four Focus areas that have been decided upon. Just who determined what those four focus areas are is a bit of a mystery.

They are set out below.  The space between the two columns is the work that council in a Workshop setting will take on this afternoon.

It is fair to ask if the Focus areas created reflect what most people on Burlington want to see done.

 

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Waste removal schedule - in your email box

By Staff

June 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Monday was a holiday – will the garbage be picked up on Wednesday as usual?

The schedule can be accessed from your cell phone.

And what is it that we are able to put for pick up this week?

Learn about the interactive waste collection calendar tool. View your collection calendar, sign up for weekly reminders and use the Put Waste in Its Place tool.

This tool is for single family and townhouse residences.

Getting the waste schedule for your street is simple – fill in the form.

Search by address to confirm your next waste collection day and what materials are being collected.
Waste Collection Calendar Tool:

View and download your calendar using your address

Weekly reminders: Email or phone

Add a schedule to your personal calendar:

iCal, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook

Put Waste In Its Place Tool:

Search your item for disposal directions.

Link to set up the program is HERE

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Rent Rates: Burlington came in sixth for average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom at $2,244

By Staff

June 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Average asking rents in Canada rose 6.5 per cent in May, the lowest percentage annual increase since December 2021, according to the Rentals.ca and Urbanation latest National Rent Report.*

But average rent for all property types on the Rentals.ca Network was still up 19 per cent over the past two years.

Toronto finished second on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom at $2,538 and third for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $3,286.

Burlington came in sixth for average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom at $2,244 and 10th for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,514.
Year over year, average monthly rent in May for a one-bedroom in Burlington was up 12.7 per cent and up 7.9 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Several GTA and surrounding mid-sized markets had double-digit annual increases in May: Brampton, up 23 per cent; North York, up 22 per cent; Guelph, up 19 per cent; Markham, up 18 per cent; Hamilton, up 16 per cent; Vaughan, up 15 per cent; Mississauga and Burlington, both up 14.6 per cent and Etobicoke, up 11.5 per cent. 

Oakville continued as Canada’s most expensive midsize market in May with an average rent of $3,373 for purpose-built and condominium apartments

Ten GTA mid-sized cities and areas were in the top 14 most expensive on the list of 25, with rents ranging from $2,634 in North York to $2,527 in Burlington. 

This is a picture that is not going to get any prettier.

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Teacher Wade Richardson receives Lifetime Membership Award from Ontario Council for Technology Education

By Staff

June 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board announced today that Wade Richardson, Teacher and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Lead for the HDSB, has received the Lifetime Membership Award from the Ontario Council for Technology Education (OCTE).

The award recognizes an individual who has made a “substantial contribution to advancing Technological Education in Ontario through work with the Ontario Council for Technology Education over a dedicated period of time.”

Wade Richardson, Lifetime Member Ontario Council for Technology Education

“I’m honoured to have received this Lifetime Membership Award from OCTE,” Richardson says. “It is so satisfying to know the difference that we, as an organization, have made to furthering technological education in Ontario, and I’m thrilled to have played a part in that alongside so many talented, dedicated and devoted professionals.”

“The Halton District School Board is so proud of Wade for receiving this award,” says Nick Frankovich, Superintendent of Education for the HDSB. “His commitment to advancing technological education, not just in Halton but across the province, has been exemplary. He collaborates with his department to ensure secondary program colleagues have a voice in supporting technological education, and they couldn’t be happier for Wade. He has accomplished this as a teacher and system-lead to the benefit of countless students, and we extend our congratulations to him for this provincial recognition.”

Over the years, Richardson has worked in many positions on the executive board for OCTE including conference organizer, stakeholder relations, OYAP representative and is currently the Chair. He has worked on many projects with OCTE over the years to support technological education. Some of the projects have been creating supporting resources for teachers, such as lesson plans and student information resources.

“Wade connected our organizations with consistent messaging and advocacy through opportunities such as the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Youth Advisory initiative, which ultimately led to very important policy changes for education including the introduction of the compulsory Technological Education credit for all Ontario students,” according to OCTE.

“Wade is a well-liked and effective leader and supporter of Technological Education in Ontario. The future of OCTE and Tech Ed in the province are in great hands with the leadership that Wade offers.”

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Halton Region Public Health confirms rabies in a bat found in Aldershot

By Staff

June 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

Halton Region Public Health confirmed that a bat tested positive for rabies last week – there are no known human contacts.

The bat was found in Aldershot, a southwest neighbourhood of Burlington. This is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in Halton Region this year.

They are nasty little things that terrify young children.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe damage to the brain and spinal cord and, if untreated before symptoms appear, can lead to death. The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal such as a raccoon, skunk, bat, dog, fox, or other wild animal, usually through a bite or scratch. Rabies illness in humans can be prevented by the use of a rabies vaccine, which is extremely effective, but only if it is administered before symptoms occur.

Although rabies in bats is rare, bites from rabid bats have caused almost all human cases of rabies in Canada over the past several years. Bats have small, needle-like teeth, and their bites easily go undetected. If you have been bitten, scratched or exposed to bat saliva, wash any wounds thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.

It is not always possible to identify if a bat has rabies, however rabid bats may move slowly, lose the ability to fly, remain active during daylight hours or be unresponsive to loud noises. If you find a bat in your home, do not attempt to move it and contact your local Animal Control Services.

To report a wild animal that you suspect may have rabies, follow the steps on ontario.ca/rabies.

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Conservation Halton advises that approximately 15 to 30 mm of rain has fallen across our jurisdiction - more expected

By Staff

June 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

Time: 7:30 A.M.

Conservation Halton advises that approximately 15 to 30 mm of rain has fallen across our jurisdiction over the previous 24 hours.

The creeks that form high into the Escarpment and run south to Lake Ontario are the source of flood waters in the suburbs.

Local forecasts suggest an additional 15 mm to 30 mm of rainfall is possible today with locally higher amounts in areas that receive thunderstorms. Precipitation is expected to end by late this afternoon as the system moves out of our area.

Consist rainfall increases the flow of water from the Escarpment through the system of creeks – pushing them beyond their natural capacity.

Widespread flooding is not anticipated, however fast flowing water and flooding of low-lying areas and natural floodplains may be expected.

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to keep a safe distance from all watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions and will issue an update to this Watershed Condition Statement –Water Safety message as conditions warrant.

This Watershed Condition Statement will be in effect through Tuesday June 13, 2023.

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EV fast chargers installed at 20 renovated ONroute stations along the province’s busiest highways, the 400 and 401.

By Staff

June 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In place and ready for the summer traffic. Come October the public should learn just how often these charging stations were used and are there enough of them in place.

Electric Vehicles (EV) fast chargers have been installed at all 20 renovated ONroute stations along the province’s busiest highways, the 400 and 401.

The new fast charging stations are part of the roll-out announced in December 2021 by the Ontario government, Ivy Charging Network, ONroute, Canadian Tire and Natural Resources Canada. All stations are now equipped with at least two EV chargers at each site, with busier areas equipped with more. The chargers are available to all drivers on a pay-per-use basis and serve all vehicle types.

As the EV population grows, more chargers may be added at each site. These critical infrastructure builds will further encourage the electrification of the transportation sector in Ontario by making EV charging more accessible and utilize the province’s world-class clean electricity supply by shifting away from gas-powered vehicles.

One of the 20 ONroute stations located on the 401 1nd 400 highways

The government also launched a new Ultra-Low Overnight electricity price plan which will support EV adoption and reduce emissions. The new electricity pricing structure is a third option for electricity customers, in addition to the existing Time-of-Use (TOU) and Tiered plans. Customers who use more electricity at night, including shift workers and those who electrically heat their home or charge their electric vehicle, could save up to $90 per year by shifting demand to the ultra-low overnight rate period when province-wide electricity demand is lower.

Quick Facts
• As of May 2023, there are more than 118,000 EVs registered in Ontario, including both battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). By 2030, there are expected to be more than one million EVs on the road in Ontario.

• Three additional rest stops in Maple, Ingersoll and Newcastle will undergo planned renovations between 2023-2025 and will have EV fast chargers installed at that time.

• The Ivy Charging Network, a joint venture between Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation (OPG), is responsible for the installation, ownership, and operation of the fast chargers.

• Ivy’s fast chargers charge 40 cents a minute to charge an electric vehicle. With a fast charger most drivers can get a 150 km range of charge for as little as $7, depending on their vehicle.

 

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Retrofit Pilot Program goes to Council on Tuesday for approval

By Pepper Parr

June 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As recommendations go they don’t get better than this:

Approve the establishment of the Better Homes Burlington Energy Retrofit Pilot Program to provide a maximum of twenty loans to Burlington homeowners who meet program eligibility criteria to support the implementation of air source heat pumps.

Direct the Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services to monitor and assess the results of the Better Homes Burlington pilot program and report back to council in one year with recommended next steps.

The purpose of the report was to obtain council approval of the necessary elements to deliver the Better Homes Burlington (BHB) program. In 2020, Council approved the Burlington Climate Action Plan and set a target to become a net zero carbon community by 2050. The BHB program will support decarbonization measures in the residential sector to help Burlington achieve its net zero community target.

The report recommended the BHB program as a pilot project which will support residential decarbonization by:

• providing a concierge service to homeowners with guidance on options to complete a home energy efficiency retrofit;
• offering loans to homeowners to accelerate the adoption of air source heat pumps; and,
• engaging and educating homeowners and contractors to promote/deliver home energy efficiency retrofits.

For those who want to upgrade the way they heat and cool their homes the Better Homes Burlington would appear to be something worth looking into.

Council directed Staff to bring forward a business case as part of the 2023 budget process for the resources required to support implementation of a small-scale home energy efficiency retrofit program including a virtual delivery centre/support for homeowners, and loans through a Local Improvement Charge (LIC) mechanism for Burlington homeowners to improve home energy efficiency.
Council recently approved the Better Homes Burlington program coordinator position (one year contract) as part of the 2023 operating budget.

Better Homes Burlington – Concierge
The program coordinator will act as a concierge to provide assistance to homeowners as they consider options to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. This role could be more significant than administering the BHB loan given the complexities for homeowners to navigate the home energy efficiency retrofit environment. The concierge will provide guidance on:

• Grants and incentives – Enbridge Gas has partnered with the federal government’s Greener Homes program to be the one stop shop for both the Greener Homes and Enbridge grants to support a wide range of home energy efficiency measures – Home Efficiency Rebate Plus (HER+)

• Financing – discussing options with homeowners for the best options to finance home energy efficiency retrofits (ie. financial institutions, the federal government’s Greener Homes loan program, Enbridge Sustain and/or Better Homes Burlington loan)

• Energy audits – provide guidance on the benefits of and how to arrange an EnerGuide Home Evaluation

• Energy Efficiency Measures – provide guidance on the types of measures which can improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint

• Contractors – offer guidance on how to find and retain contractor services for energy efficiency improvements
The program coordinator will also be responsible for community engagement activities to promote the benefits of home energy efficiency measures and the options available to homeowners, as noted above. Contractor engagement to promote the program will also be part of this role.

Jim Feilders, the owner of a home that is carbon neutral explains: ÈPutting it all together with the best data I could find, is shown in the chart below. It includes the “What if” we do nothing, called business as usual. You know, keep our heads in the sand and keep doing what we have always done. I’m not saying change is easy by any means.” Burlington GHG emmissions – source The obvious solution is to make the Community Energy Plan work – problem with that is we don’t know yet how to do that. Extrapolations for the CEP are less optimistic as most of the behavioural change will have occurred. With our CEP alone, we fall short.

Better Homes Burlington Loan
To implement the Better Homes Burlington pilot loan program, a bylaw is required to utilize the Local Improvement Charge (LIC) mechanism. In 2012, the provincial government amended the LIC regulation to permit municipalities to deliver home energy efficiency loans to homeowners, which can be repaid through property taxes.

A maximum of $10,000 will be offered to homeowners to support the installation of air source heat pumps and leak sealing. The target for the pilot project is 20 homes which currently rely on burning fossil fuels for a source of heating.

Eligibility criteria include:
• All registered owner(s) of the property must consent to participating in the Program;

• Property tax and all other payment obligations to the City of Burlington for the past five years must be in good standing;

• Owners must enroll in the pre-authorized property tax payment plan prior to approval for term of loan; and

• The owner must notify its mortgage lender (if applicable) of the owner’s intention to participate in the Program using the City of Burlington’s prescribed form.

• Note: homeowners with CMHC or other insured mortgages are ineligible to participate in the Program.

The maximum term for a loan will be 5 (five) years to be paid back with interest (prime rate). Through the LIC mechanism, the loan is tied to the property and can be transferred to new homeowners if a home is sold, however, most homeowners pay off the loan prior to selling. An administration fee will be charged in the amount of $50.00 (fifty dollars).

The program details for the Better Homes Burlington loan is summarized here:

1. Homeowners will be asked to contact the program coordinator to discuss eligibility for a loan. The program coordinator will provide information on all options available to homeowners to fund energy efficiency measures, such as grants, loans, the Home EnerGuide Assessment process, and how to find a contractor.

2. If the homeowner is eligible for a BHB loan and decides that this is the best option, they will be directed to obtain quotes for the work.

3. The homeowner will submit the information with a funding application to the City. The funding application will be reviewed by the program coordinator to confirm eligibility and once approved, a property owner agreement (POA) will be shared with the homeowner for signature, which will be signed by the Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services (or designate).

4. Once the POA is executed, the homeowner can proceed with the proposed works and can submit the final report (project completion) to the City with the invoice.

5. If the amount differs from the original application, a revised schedule can be attached to the POA. The program coordinator will work with Finance staff to begin the loan process through the property tax system.

Jim Feilders turned his home into a carbon neutral house. He said: We need to replace gasoline vehicles with electric and hybrid models and transition our residential space heating and water heating from natural gas to electric inverter heat pump technology – air, water and ground sources. These technologies are actually less expensive on a life cycle basis than their fossil fuel alternatives.

The program will be promoted to homeowners throughout the summer with the opening of applications to occur in September. From the time homeowners receive funding approval, they will have six months to install the improvements (air source heat pump and leak sealing) with an opportunity to request a further extension (up to six months). Once the improvement is installed, the homeowner will submit the completion report to confirm the loan amount. The completion report will be reviewed by the program coordinator and the manager of environmental sustainability, and the loan will be processed. Loans will be added to the tax bill at the end of April 2024 to begin the repayment process. If the homeowner has not submitted the completion report in time to process a loan and add to the annual tax bill by April 2024, then the homeowner loan repayment will be added to the tax roll the following year (2025) for repayment.

By January 2024, the program coordinator and manager of environmental sustainability will review the loan application process to determine whether to recommend continuation, particularly given that loans are only added to the tax roll once per year.

Assessment of the pilot program will be based on overall interest in the program and number of applications received. If 20 loans have already been pre-approved by the end of January 2024, the pilot program will come to a close and will be assessed at that time.

Program Monitoring and Assessment
Metrics will be tracked to assess and monitor all aspects of the Better Homes Burlington program to report back to council in 2024 on the results, such as number of homeowners assisted, types of questions asked, number of community engagement activities and participation rates, and number of loans applied for and issued, and number of loans refused. In addition, staff will continue to collaborate with neighbouring municipalities and our extended networks to identify alternative measures for future consideration to support the transition off of the use of fossil fuels for thermal energy.

Financial Matters:
It is recommended that the Energy Initiatives Reserve Fund provide the source of funding to support homeowner loans through the LIC mechanism. Annual loan repayments by homeowners will be credited back to the reserve fund.

With the uncommitted balance currently at $185,000, along with the 2023 funding provided through the rooftop rental fees the City receives from three solar installations on City facilities of $25,000 per year, accounts for the $200,000 reserve fund requirement of the loan program. The reserve fund was originally established in 2015 to help fund energy efficiency initiatives in City facilities.

Total Financial Impact
Based on a cap of 20 loans for each homeowner at $10,000/resident, a total of $200,000 is required to support this program. In addition, Council approved $120,000 one-time funding for a one-year contract for a program coordinator position.

Staff time will be required from Finance in the property tax section to support on the tax eligibility criteria listed above and adding the loan to the property tax bill for repayment.

Lynn Robichaud, Manager of Environmental Sustainability

Engagement Matters:
A communications plan is being finalized with Communications staff to launch, promote and deliver the Better Homes Burlington program. Engagement activities to promote the program will include webinars, presentations and demonstrations in partnership with community stakeholders and networks. A website was created at the same time the Better Homes Burlington feasibility study was completed in partnership with the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College and will be launched in the near future with a media release.

The program will be voted on at the June 13th Council meeting.

The prime contact at this point is Lynn Robichaud, Manager of Environmental Sustainability 905-335-7600 x7931

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Ward 1 is the focus for the cartoon of the week

June 11th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

Our carton for the week.

Covers one of the biggest news stories this year.

And it probably isn’t over yet.

Our apologies to the Integrity Commissioner

The plan to publish a cartoon every week turned out to be easier said then done.

We will publish every second week and have the cartoon be the opening news item on the Sunday.

Cartoons are opinion intended to inform, educate and entertains readers.

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Heritage is now very much on the city's radar - council has yet to reach a clear consensus

By Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Heritage has become a bigger issue for the current city council than anything the Gazette has seen in the past.

There was a situation recently where owners of a house on Lotus Street found that their house was going to be designated despite some significant differences of opinion on just how important a building it is from a heritage perspective.

We will cover that story in detail in a forthcoming article

By the end of the study, Burlington City Council will be presented with information to decide if any of the properties or landscapes assessed in the study should be specially recognized, heritage designated or be subject to any conservation regulations or policies. Council will also be asked to decide if the 26 properties added to the heritage register at the July 12, 2022 City Council meeting and the September 20, 2022 Council Meeting should continue to be listed on the heritage register or removed.

John O’Riley is the lead staff member on matters related to heritage. He reports that there are now six study areas, set out below, and eight individual properties that are being studied.

The tan coloured properties are the subject a close study.

 

 

One of the six study areas.

Another of the six study areas.

On Monday, June 19th, the City is hosting an evening consultation meeting at 7PM at Burlington City Hall with property owners in the following study areas:
• Foot of Brant Street;
• Village Square; and
• Downtown East.

Three of the eight properties that will get a detailed study are shown in tan.

On Wednesday, June 21st, the City is hosting an evening consultation meeting at 7PM at Burlington City Hall with property owners in the following study areas:
• Locust Street; and
• Burlington Avenue and Lakeshore Road.

The meetings are an important step in terms of letting people know what the city has in mind. Up until this point property owners didn’t know very much about what the city had in mind.

The debate will be interesting. There are those that are strong proponents of property right however they may not be able to carry the vote.

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Growth is taking place everywhere - Burlington is no longer an exception

By Staff

June 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Rising 73 and 84 storeys in the heart of the Toronto entertainment district, Forma is defined by its twisting form and a shimmering façade, which was designed to reflect the city’s light and colour. A unique addition to the downtown core, renderings reveal stacked steel boxes soaring into the sky.

Construction has finally begun on Frank Gehry’s highly anticipated Forma condos.

The Canadian architect’s first residential towers in the country and his tallest buildings in the world, the two-tower Forma will top off well above most downtown Toronto skyscrapers.

Well, thank goodness that  isn’t Burlington.

This is Burlington.

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GO train serving is going to be a little different during the weekend.

By Staff

June 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There will be a temporary service change on the Lakeshore West line between Oakville and West Harbour GO starting today at 9 p.m. until end of service on Sunday, June 11.

With lots of events planned in Toronto and around the region, we expect very high volumes of customers on our service. During this time, GO buses will replace train service between Oakville and West Harbour GO. GO train service will run as normal between Oakville and Union Station.

For customers travelling to Niagara, we encourage you to consider bypassing the bus replacement by travelling straight to Aldershot GO to begin your train trip to Niagara Falls. Alternatively, customers can take the Route 12 bus from Burlington to Niagara Falls. For those travelling to Toronto, we recommend travelling straight to Oakville GO to begin your train trip into Toronto.

Customers using bus shuttles will experience longer than normal travel times while transferring between trains and buses. Staff will be available at stations to answer questions.

What customers need to know:

To prepare for upcoming construction of the Burloak Drive grade separation, we need to move important infrastructure in the corridor. This can only be done when trains are not running. That is why starting today at 9 p.m. until end of service Sunday, June 11, buses will replace trains between Oakville and West Harbour GO.

Here is what customers need to know:

  • Normal GO train service will run between Union Station and Oakville GO.
  • Shuttle bus service will run only between Oakville and West Harbour GO stations.
  • Niagara Falls train service will start and end at Aldershot GO.
  • Train and bus connections for routes 12, 15, 18, and 21 will also be impacted.
  • Use gotransit.com or triplinx.ca to plan your trip

Regular service will resume Monday, June 12.

 

 

 

 

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