Blood Services asking donors to make an appointment -supplies tend to run low during holidays

By Staff

March 30th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Come the day that you need a blood transfusion – that is the day you will appreciate what blood donors do.

Become one of them.

The need for blood products never stops, especially during a long weekend and with the Easter public holiday just around the corner, we’re reminding Canadians to make all the difference by booking and keeping lifesaving appointments to donate blood, platelets and plasma.

Canadian Blood Services is grateful to the donors who help ensure the supply of lifesaving blood and plasma remains strong to help patients like ten-year-old Olivia Blundon from Beaverton, Ontario.

Olivia was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and in the months that followed, she needed more than 100 blood and platelet transfusions. She has since required a stem cell transplant, has been diagnosed with thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) and will eventually need a kidney transplant. Olivia’s condition is closely monitored and the possibility of future transfusions remains high. Her family is counting on donors to maintain the blood supply so that she can get the blood she needs when she needs it.

Donors are needed now to grow the plasma supply and restock the reserve of blood. Cancer patients, accident victims, and people with immunodeficiency, autoimmune and neurological disorders rely on blood, platelets, and plasma donations every day.

While there is a continuous need for all blood types, there is a greater need for donors who have O-negative blood. O-negative blood donors are especially needed because this blood type can be transfused to any patient. In times of emergency or for newborn patients, O-negative blood, the universal blood type, makes a lifesaving difference.

Appointments are required. Same day appointments are available every day at many donor centres and community events across the country.

Book now on blood.ca, use the GiveBlood app or call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236-6283).

New and returning donors are asked to book and keep their donation appointments. If you are unable to make it to your appointment, please cancel it so that someone can take your place or re-book into the following month.

 

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You didn't need to know about why they said nothing that the public could understand.

By Pepper Parr

March 30th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

That quickie that was really quick – under nine minutes.

City Council was faced with a number of items that had been discussed in a CLOSED session– so there isn’t much in the way of detail.

There were no questions but the Mayor and Councillor Stolte did not vote for one of the matters.

The Agenda doesn’t provide all that much in the way of information either.

This one day after Council listen to a report from the Director of Engagement on hoe engaging and open the city has been.

Recommendations from Standing Committees:
Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility meeting of March 28, 2023

Recommendation pending Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility meeting of March 28, 2023 Agenda
a.
Delivery of support services for people with disabilities participating in recreation programs (RCC-05-23)

Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability meeting of March 29, 2023
Recommendations pending Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability meeting of March 29, 2023 Agenda
Confidential insurance renewal report (L-05-23)
Confidential triannual litigation update (L-06-23)
Confidential legal department update on a litigation matter regarding 401-417 Martha Street (L-21-23)

The concern with the way Council chooses to handle these situations is that there is not even an attempt to inform the public.

The insurance renewal report – people sue the city for almost anything and the city frequently pays up smaller amount because it would cost more to fight the claim.  Why doesn’t someone say something like that?

The sense this council seems to take is ‘you don’t really need to know what this is about.’

What they need to know is that the public is supposed to know to ensure that they are accountable and transparent.

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Make Magic: Turn a $10 donation into creating $125 worth of food that gets distributed to those in need.

By Pepper Parr

March 30th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

This is a tough one to turn down.

If helping out those who need to use a Food Bank the opportunity to double what you’re giving at no expense yo you  – look at this one.

The Sprott Foundation has told the Food for Life people that they will match $ for $ donations made.

What you get is the satisfaction of knowing that your $10 became $125.00 – and you got a tax receipt – but just for the $10.

Graham Hill – Executive Director Food 4 Life

There is a lot of GOOD in the world. While rising costs and global challenges dominate the news cycle, we see the GOOD that is happening in neighbourhoods right here at home in Halton and Hamilton. A smile, a small gesture of kindness and support – they’re all part of the Circle of GOOD.

And each day, GOOD surplus food is being shared with friends and neighbours whose budget doesn’t stretch as far as it used to, allowing them to cover other essential costs like rent, hydro or gas.

Graham Hill, the Executive Director of the Not for Profit Food for Life puts it this way: “GOOD people like you, our amazing supporters, have already helped more than 39,000 households this year alone!

“Normally, every $10 gift means Food for Life can share $62.50 of GOOD food and groceries.

“But right now, every $10 will be doubled, providing an incredible $125 of GOOD food and groceries for people in our community.

“There are many reasons why people in our community need to access food programs. Besides inflation, precarious work and a lack of affordable housing are also factors.

“It’s a privilege to be able to lend a helping hand to a neighbour when they need it, knowing they would do the same for us.”

Double the GOOD!  Click HERE to make it happen.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mayor calls it an eye opener: A $36 million dollar hit on development charges and a $335 million hit on parkland dedication

By Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There are a number of issues in play that will have a massive impact on how Burlington grows: development charges, money developers are required to give the city when they are putting up a new high rise tower, parkland dedication, land that a developer is required to give a city – in Burlington many developers gave cash in lieu.

A number of new laws have been put in place by the provincial government that are throwing wrench into what municipalities have done in the past. Council listened to a report on the Building Homes Faster Act and what the impact would be on Burlington that has made building affordable and attainable housing it prime focus. The city recently signed a pledge with the province to build 29,000 new residences by 2031.

It also planned on using at least 3 hectares of parkland for every 1000 new residents. Where that land is going to come from was not at all clear.
City Manager Tim Commisso who realized some time ago that there isn’t all that much land available is casting a keen eye on school board properties that he expects to become available. That could solve part of the problem the city faces in finding the amount of land that is needed to meet the 3 hectares per 1000 people criteria – a pledge to build 29,000 by 2031 would work out to 3 x 29 = 87 hectares of land.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward: This is an eye opener>

After hearing the Watson report Mayor Meed Ward said:

“This is an incredible eye opener.

“When I hear that we won’t be able to achieve the three per 1000.

“That’s, shocking. And it just shows the challenges that we’re up against because we simply can’t build housing alone. That’s not a complete community. We have to think of not only what happens inside a home, but when people step out their front door, what’s their experience, what do they what do?”

She had some difficulty responding to a situation where the city would take a $36 million hit on the development charges it expected to receive added to the $335 million hit on the parkland dedication.

“And that’s based on what we think we know right now which is ever changing. And it’ll get worse once we actually start looking at the real housing pledge numbers.

“So this is an eye opener for us and for the community and it just shows us the hole that has been created by Bill 23 and other pieces of legislation that really it can’t be filled.

The new look for Burlington

“It can’t be filled by the province. They don’t have the money and they should be spending it on homelessness and mental health and addictions and health care and schools and social services and a whole array of other things.

“We had a system that was working but it has been broken for reasons that still escaped me. That being said, that’s not the only issue and we have to turn our mind to getting as much accurate data as we can and refreshing it as often as we can to make sure that when we come back with our multiyear investment strategy that we’ve accounted properly for what we need to put aside to make sure that we’re building livable communities, not just housing but places where people actually want to live, work, play, recreate.

“So this really lays another tool to use to meet the challenges ahead. I’m up for it. I know we are as a council. We’re ready. We’re ready to dig in and meet those challenges. We will figure it out. I have no doubt about that. I also understand the magnitude of the challenge.”

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How to Use a Credit Card to Your Advantage

By Staff

March 29th, 2023

BURLINGTON,ON

 

Using a credit card to your advantage can be a great way to build up your credit score, as long as you make sure to use it responsibly. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your credit card.

Used responsibly, a credit cards has a lot of advantages.

The benefits of having a credit card

Credit cards offer a variety of benefits that can help you manage your finances and build your credit score. One of the main advantages of having a credit card is convenience. With a credit card, you don’t have to carry around cash or worry about writing checks. You can also use it to make purchases online or over the phone, which makes shopping much easier. Additionally, many credit cards offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. These points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, travel miles and more.

Credit cards also provide an additional layer of protection when making purchases since they are backed by the issuing bank or financial institution. This means that if something goes wrong with your purchase – such as if it never arrives or is damaged – you may be able to dispute the charge and get your money back from the issuer.

Finally, using a credit card responsibly can help you build good credit history over time, which will make it easier for you to qualify for loans in the future. Canadians interested in getting their first credit card or opening a new line of credit should check out this list of the best cards on Finances.ca to find the best cash back or low-interest card.

Things to know about credit cards before getting one

Before you decide to get a credit card, it’s important to understand the basics of how they work. Credit cards are essentially a form of loan that allows you to borrow money from the issuer and pay it back over time with interest. The amount of money you can borrow is determined by your credit limit, which is set by the issuer based on your credit score and other factors.

Remember that when using a credit card, you should always pay off your balance in full each month to avoid paying interest charges. Additionally, be aware of any fees associated with the card, such as annual fees or late payment fees. Finally, be sure to read all terms and conditions carefully before signing up for a new card so that you know exactly what kind of benefits and rewards it offers.

Understanding credit card reward programs

There is a very wide selection of different credit cards – with different options

Credit card reward programs are a great way to get something back for your spending. Depending on the type of credit card you have, you can earn rewards in the form of cashback, points, miles or even discounts. Before signing up for a card, check to see what kind of rewards the card offers. Some cards offer higher rewards for certain purchases, such as groceries or gas, while others may offer a flat rate across all purchases.

You should also find out if there is an expiration date on the rewards and, if so, when it is. Knowing this information will help you plan and maximize your rewards before they expire. Finally, be aware of any fees associated with redeeming your rewards as well as any restrictions that may apply to them. By understanding these details about your credit card reward program, you can ensure that you’re making the most out of every purchase.

Tips for managing your credit card debt wisely

Managing credit card debt can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips for managing your credit card debt wisely:

1. Make sure you pay at least the minimum payment each month. This will help you avoid late fees and keep your credit score in good standing.

2. Try to pay more than the minimum payment if possible. Paying off your balance faster will save you money in interest payments over time.

3. Consider transferring your balance to a lower-interest rate card if available, as this could save you money on interest payments as well.

4. Avoid taking out cash advances from your credit cards, as these typically come with higher interest rates and fees than regular purchases do.

5. Create a budget and stick to it so that you don’t end up spending more than you can afford to pay back each month.

6. If necessary, consider speaking with a financial advisor or debt counselor who can help you create a plan for paying off your debts in an efficient manner while still allowing for other expenses, such as rent or groceries.

Use your credit card as a budgeting tool

To conclude, always remember to use your credit card responsibly and pay off your balance in full each month. Regularly review your credit card statements to ensure accuracy and take advantage of any rewards or cashback programs the card may offer.

Doing so can help you build a solid credit history while reaping the rewards of using a credit card.

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The number of unfavourable year-end revenue losses part of the year end report

By Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

How did the treasurer keep the city’s financial situation above water.

A statement put out by the Treasurer said:

This report provides Committee and Council with the City’s preliminary unaudited 2022 year-end position. The City’s unfavourable year-end revenue losses were fully mitigated from a combination of business as usual savings, Transfers from Reserve Funds and the use of Safe Restart Funding.

Use your cursor to enlarge the type for easier reading

Explanations for the numerous unfavourable variations on the funding side

Council will debate and discuss the reports today.

 

 

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Council wants to consider licensing rentals as a way to control AirBnB situations: Aldershot resident would love to see that happen

By Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Getting on the agenda at Tuesday’s Standing Committee took a special motion but Aldershot resident Chris Regan did get a chance to tell his story – it was not a pretty picture – the system failed him at several steps along the way.

Chris Regan – has an AirBnB residence next to his house which has five cameras capturing every visitor to his door

Chris Regan wanted to speak to an item regarding development and implementation of a city wide short term accommodation compliance and licensing program

Chris and his wife lived on Danforth Place, a quiet neighbourhood where the street slopes towards the lake.

A large six bedrooms, six bath, house next door had been recently sold.  Regan and his wife and one of their neighbours met with the new residents a day or so after they moved in

When he first met his new neighbour they had taken possession of the house. My wife and I met them, along with our neighbours to welcome to the neighbourhood. They were very nice they told us they were very excited to be moving in. They had I believe three children and they were very excited to have them go skate on the bay. We found out later on that they’ve never had any intention of moving in, they marketed it for what they’re using it for today.

I had a second chance to greet him. I was going to my car in my driveway he was in his, they were cleaning out the property after some renters that come in and we basically just exchanged pleasantries. I certainly wasn’t in any position to confront him. Knowing what they were doing with the property, I felt that it wasn’t the right way to do it. The right way to do it was to go to our counsellor and to take action from that point.

I hate to stand up and complain about things. I’ve owned a business in Burlington for the last 22 years.  Regan has been a Burlington resident for the last 60 odd years. We currently reside on Danforth Place and have been there for the last 12 years. When the property was sold in December the new owner immediately turned it into an Airbnb. They advertise it as an “event center”.

I understand that everybody has a right to operate a business providing they are doing it legally and without disruption to the rest of the community.  On 11 different occasions since they’ve rented it out we have personally had people come to our door thinking our house was the Airbnb location.

“We have all of this on cameras. We have five cameras around our home. The neighbour on the other side of us also has cameras on their home

Homes on Danforth Place in Aldershot

“It’s basically a party place and the disruption to our neighbourhood and to our security. On eight different occasions, we have had cleaners, food delivery people and UPS or Amazon people show up at our door, leave food, leave packages, leave parcels – we have all this on camera.

We’ve literally had to walk to our neighbour’s home to tell them it was delivered to our home.

We’re perfectly prepared to offer the video evidence that we have from our home and from our neighbour’s home as well, to back up the claims that I’m making here today.

Councillor Stolte, who faced a similar situation in ward 4 started out by saying: “ I feel your pain”.

Adding that “we’re looking at for short term accommodations solution that will help to negate situations like what you’re dealing with.  Yours is something that can be dealt with through a different opportunity that may resolve it sooner than what we’re able to get to through this with the Short Term Accommodation Licensing program that is being considered.

Regan explains that “we have been advised to go through the bylaw department and register complaints about the noise activity and the open bonfires outside that has embers and the ashes are hitting my wooden deck.

“I called the fire department first – they told me to call the city – I call the city. The city told me to call the bylaw department. But to answer your question I don’t believe I’ve been informed of another way of bringing this to anybody’s attention and that’s why I’m here today.

Councillor Galbraith asked: “ Can you let us know how they are marketing this? This house says is it just an Airbnb? Are they going sort of beyond that and and marketing it as an event center?

Regan explains: “I’m not sure whether they currently been marketing as an event center. They started marketing as an event center. We saw the ads. It did go through Airbnb. I’ve just gotten back into the country to come to this meeting. So I I’m not sure I haven’t even had a chance to look at the current ads and how they’re running it. But you know what, five and six cars in their driveway at any given time. It appears to me that for the most part it’s being run as an event center or to hold meetings. And again, I can’t verify that but I can just see from what I’ve seen.

We’ve called bylaw on several occasions have not heard back yet. We’ve told that there’s a long wait for the bylaw people who are very busy. Our neighbours on the other side of the home  called the police department three times on

Our neighbours, Diane and Colin, have had people, renters, walk into their home without even knocking on the door and asking where the party is. Diane and Colin had their neighbours over at the house at the time, that can corroborate and confirm how people, not even knocking on the door, but literally walking into the home thinking okay.  It was as if they were walking into a convention center and didn’t need to knock on anybody’s door. We can just come into their home. That’s happened to them twice.

It’s never happened to us, we always keep our door locked even when we’re in the home.

Mayor Meed Ward thanks Regan for sharing “what is undoubtedly a very stressful situation then asked Regan if he had been in touch with AirBnB – I know they do have some regulations to try to prevent party houses, have you complained to them? What did they say?

Regan: Yes, we have registered a complaint to Airbnb. The response was basically a standard response to saying that they’re not taking any further action against what we’ve registered as a complaint.  It was basically a boilerplate letter back saying okay, we we’ve got your complaint, and we’re basically not going to do anything about it.

The Mayor asks a second question around the zoning and “whether you’ve had any questions or discussion with staff, I’m quite certain a residential area is zoned for commercial Event Center activity.  We can ask stuff about this.  But has that come up in any of your discussion? Would that be an opportunity?

Regan: It has come up in discussions with Councillor Galbraith and he was of the opinion that nowadays, you know that it is a residential neighborhood and it shouldn’t be marketed and advertised as an event type center. That to my knowledge is the extent of the discussions I’ve had.

Councillor Bentivegna adds that come the summer it is probably going to be busier than in winter. How often do you have these circumstances ?

“How often over a 30 period would that happen?

I believe they started marketing it as Airbnb in December, I think if it happens more than twice a month, which I know it has it.

You know it? It seems to be a lot. And you’re absolutely right. That concern with us really has not been now but what’s going to happen?

They have a beautiful property. And we know that it’s a fairly big property. We know that when summer comes it’s it will be more people coming and going coming and going all all the time.

Again, I’m not here to shut his business down or any business down. But I do believe that the the rights of the security and the privacy of their neighbours is being severely compromised here.

Councillor Sharman asks: “I’m a little uncertain about your comments about the fire department and by law  – can you tell us about the nature of the fire? Is it an open fire,

It was an open bonfire. And it was on their property. My property sits very close to their property. And this was an uncontained bonfire.  We have properties where we had bonfires on, we knew it’s illegal.  When we lived up in Cedar Springs we had one and the fire department showed up so we knew it was illegal.

I phoned the fire department that night because the embers were literally coming up to our main floor deck and our second floor deck is as well – we own an elevated home overlooking the bay, and the wind was blowing in our direction. Of course the smoke was blowing in our directions as well.

Sharman: The critical point was it was an open fire. Did anyone from the fire department come out ?

No the fire department did not come out. They said we had to phone the bylaw department.

Did you call by law ?

My wife called by law once and Diane and Colin brown have called them three times. Mostly for the noise by law and obviously once for them going right into their homes.

Bentivegna  – Just a quick follow up – have you written them and emailed the council and asked them to engage the buyer on a review of the zoning circumstances?

Councillor Sharman said to Regan: “I really appreciate you being here this morning. Thank you so much for your time and I’m very sympathetic to your cause.

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Suggesting that trees could be a bond between developers and those who want the Millcroft golf course property just as it is

By Pepper Parr

March 28th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Daintry Klein

Daintry Klein, delegating before a Standing Committee this morning decided to see the developers as allies rather than a sector she had to do battle with.

“ To BILD and the West End Home Builders Association” she said, “ we understand that a complete and balanced, liveable community is as important to your prospective clients and your business as it is to existing residents.

“ The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report released on March 20 details that we are likely to reach or surpass 1.5 degrees of warming by 2040. Canada’s goal, as established at COP 15 in Montreal last December to conserve 30 % of land and oceans by 2030 is meant to address this urgent situation.

“It is recognized that protection can’t just be reserved for vast open spaces; it needs to be a part of our cities and the everyday lives of more people. There is a substantial gap between the goal of 30% and the parkland dedication percentage reality that we face. The more frequent high winds and storms are an ongoing reminder of the effects of climate change.

Royal Botanical Gardens – trees, plants and birds.

“Last week, The Royal Botanical Gardens presented a lecture on Prescribing Nature. Details of important health benefits of 30% tree cover and 2 to 3 hours/week of walking in City parks include reduction of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, psychological distress, poor sleep and loneliness.

Dr. Myles Sergeant of Hamilton and Executive Director of the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care is actively involved in planting trees consistent with the goal of improving health outcomes. He highlighted for the audience the effects of urban heat islands. Higher density development with less greenspace and tree cover directly correlates to cardiac arrests. Long story short, parkland and tree coverage are critical to sustainability of life as we know it.

“Dr. Sergeant spoke of the three resources needed to meet his organization’s goals. Money to purchase trees, volunteers to plant and space to achieve their goal of 800,000 trees. He indicated that the first two resources were plentiful but the biggest challenge is the required space to plant the trees.

“Given the 1500 trees that were planted but two feet apart in our Millcroft Park last year, the similarities were strikingly similar.

“If we in the City of Burlington are serious about mitigating the climate emergency, we must be more thoughtful about preserving decade’s old mature trees as well as planting new ones. The benefits of maximizing the tree canopy should be ensured with a better opportunity for survival and space to achieve their potential. The city’s trees, including in our parks, provide shade, cooling, erosion control, stormwater management and green house gas mitigation for our residents. As power outages become more frequent with potentially longer duration, trees may become the only refuge available in excessive heat situations.

Every tree on this street is on private property. Every property owner has the right to cut down the tree on their property. If one comes down – so what? If five come down will those five people have lessened the value of the properties on the street? If they all come down – would anyone want to buy property on this street.

“Let’s look for viable locations in our parks that can better accommodate this important goal of expanding the tree canopy and providing shade for walkers, spectators and simple enjoyment of outdoor spaces.

“Two days ago CNN provided important reporting on Cities designed to work with, not against water as flooding increases. Laura Paddison comments that cities have tended to focus on trying to keep water out, often turning to concrete: building up walls, dams and other gray infrastructure. She writes that as the climate crisis continues to threaten cities and reshape coastlines, vulnerable urban areas are looking to work with, rather than against water by soaking it up within the fabric of the city.

“Greenspace, such as natural vegetation and tree canopy are the sponges working in Bangkok. That city is vulnerable to flooding as it was constructed on a floodplain and sinking due to the growing urbanization. Perhaps this is worth consideration here in Burlington.

“Burlington, the Region of Halton and the World are in a climate emergency. The important work on the city’s parks acknowledges this. However, let’s not let the brief paragraph dealing with climate considerations within this report be overwhelmed by the extensive analysis.

“Millcroft Greenspace Alliance is currently focussed on preserving the Millcroft Golf Course property with its mature tree canopy, natural vegetation, and creative stormwater design. There is space on this property for many additional trees. It is an example of a privately owned public space that is currently under threat of development rather than the intent of permanent open space.

“City Council publicly opposed the proposed development in December of 2022; we urge the City to preserve this valuable resource. To quote this Parks Provisioning Master Plan report, “the City will need to be proactive in the acquisition of land and look potentially to new or rarely used tools to acquire parkland in order to meet its service needs”

This what the Millcroft Greenspace Alliance wants to protect – and with very good reason

Asking the developers to plant trees on the golf course property rather than build additional housing was novel as an approach – good on Daintry Klein for making the point.

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Long term plan for recreation and culture: how to factor in climate change and major population growth

By Pepper Parr

March 28th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It goes back to 2009, long time for a Master Plan to be developed and presented to Council. The document providing a 20-year strategic framework for the development and enhancement of parks, recreation and cultural facilities and services has been used to guide city capital budgets, development charge studies, and overall, to enhance our services and meet the needs of our growing and changing community.

The document is a solid look at where Parks, Recreation and Culture staff think has to be done.   Document is riddled with acronyms.

Excellent progress has been made in the implementation of the 2009 plan.
Notable projects completed over the last twelve years include:

The Skyway Arena in the east end of the city is under construction.

Recreation Facilities
Haber Community Centre
Mountainside Recreation Centre Revitalization
Angela Coughlan, Centennial and Aldershot Major Pool Renewals
Nelson Outdoor Pool and Splash Park Re-Build
Central Arena Renovations and Accessibility Upgrades
Skyway Community Centre and Arena Re-Build (in progress)
Mountainside Outdoor Pool Re-Build (in progress)
New Community Centre (former Bateman H.S. – in progress)

Parks

A first look at what was being proposed as a Beachway Master Plan. It meant a community would be destroyed and perfectly good houses demolished.

City View Park Development Phase 1
Sherwood Forest Park Renewal Phase 1
Norton Park and Alton Neighbourhood Park Developments
Burloak Park Re-development (ongoing)
Lowville Park Enhancements
New Splash Pads, Skateparks, Leash Free Parks and Community Gardens
Community Trails Strategy and Implementation
Beachway Park Master Plan
LaSalle Park Marina Wavebreak

Joseph Brant Museum: The house got lifted up and put on top of a little hill with the museum under the hill.

Cultural Facilities
New Haber Branch Library
Appleby Branch Library Relocation to new Community Centre (former Bateman H.S. – in progress)
Joseph Brant Museum Expansion
Cultural Action Plan
Public Art Initiatives

Strategy/process
Over the past year, staff have worked on the Parks Provisioning Master Plan which is now complete and tabled for Council’s consideration. The next important piece of work is the update of the 2009 PRCAMP. Both initiatives are critical in shaping the future of parks, recreation and cultural services. The table below explains the difference between the two master plans at a high level.

Initiative Focus Timeline
Parks Provisioning Master Plan (PPMP) Parkland service level (land base needs). Goal to ensure adequate public greenspace for future generations. Completed March 2023
PRCAMP Update Determine long term needs for new recreational facilities as well as revitalization and enhancement of existing assets. Q2 2023 to
Q2 2024

Overall, the goal of the PRCAMP update is:

To provide a 20-30 year strategic framework for the development and enhancement of city parks, recreation and leisure services that will contribute to the health, well-being and quality of life for all citizens of Burlington. The plan will be driven by existing and forecasted data, influenced by community needs, and informed by industry leading best practices.

Strategic Context for the PRCAMP Update
to re-evaluate community needs and priorities for parks, recreation and cultural services for the next 20-30 years. The biggest change is the projected growth: the city will grow to over 260,000 by 2051. In comparison, the 2009 PRCAMP was based on a build out population of under 200,000 by 2031 as per the Region’s “Best Planning Estimates” at the time. This projected growth will have a significant impact on parks, recreation and cultural services.

Other strategic factors that will be considered

Lawn Bowling Club is right beside the Seniors Centre.

Shifting demographics and a desire for an age friendly and inclusive community
New trends and needs for recreation and leisure services
Impacts of new provincial legislation on funding for recreation services
Land availability for more facilities and services
Optimizing the capacity and functionality of existing assets and resources
Striving for accessible and affordable services
Achieving a balanced array of recreational opportunities and services
Financial pressure of maintaining existing assets while planning for new facilities
Changing attitudes on recreation participation due to pandemic and economic factors
Exploring partnerships and available community resources to meet community recreational needs
Establishing appropriate and achievable service levels to meet community needs and expectations
Assessing the involvement of the private sector in recreation service delivery
Alignment to other corporate policies and plans including the Framework for Community Recreation, Parks Provisioning Master Plan, Urban Forest Master Plan, Integrated Mobility Plan, Climate Action Plan, Asset Management Plan, Cycling Master Plan, Community Trails Strategy, Vision to Focus.
Provision of services in the Aldershot, Burlington and Appleby Major Transit Station Areas (MTSA’s). These new compact urban communities will account for a large portion of the city’s overall growth and will require creative new ways of integrating meaningful and accessible recreational services for residents and employees. Convenient access to high quality local parks and diverse recreational opportunities is a key attribute of the “complete and healthy community” concept which is our vision for the MTSA’s. This will be a significant focus for the PRCAMP Update.

PRCAMP Scope
The PRCAMP Update will determine the need for new city recreation and leisure facilities as well as revitalization of existing assets for a 20-30 year period. The facility types that will be reviewed as part of the master plan study are listed in the table below, however other needs may be identified.

Indoor Facilities Outdoor Facilities
Recreation:
Arenas/Ice Pads
Indoor Pools
Multi-Use Community Centres (gymnasiums and multi-purpose rooms)
Age-Specific Program Centres (Seniors and Youth Centres)

Culture:
Smaller Cultural Program Centres (Music Centre, Student Theatre)
Integrated cultural components & uses within multi-use community centres Parks:
Sports Fields
Playgrounds
Tennis Courts
Pickleball Courts
Basketball/Multi-Purpose Courts
Skate Parks (major and minor)
Splash Pads (major and minor)
Outdoor Pools

Outdoor Skating
Leash Free Dog Parks
Community Gardens
Bocce
Disc/Frisbee Sports
Fitness Equipment
Park Amenities (water fountains, shade, seating, washrooms, and park lighting)

Event/Festival spaces
Casual open spaces
Other emerging needs (Cricket)

Types of Recommendations
Service Level Targets (e.g., 1 ice pad per x thousand residents)
New Facility Needs (location, timing, cost, prioritization)
Major Renewal/Revitalization/Expansion (timing, cost, prioritization)
Facility Re-Purposing (timing, cost, prioritization)
Partnership Initiatives
Facility Consolidations (e.g., arena twinning, library/community centre mergers)
Facility Leases
Leveraging available community resources and assets
Strategic Acquisitions (land and facilities)
New policies, strategies, and standards

While the PRCAMP Update will be a comprehensive study, there are a number of items that will be out of scope since these items have their own focused planning and business processes.

Out of Scope:

The trail from Spencer Smith Park that leads to the canal is something every Burlington resident treasures.

Routine life cycle renewal (e.g., flooring, roof, mechanical components).
Trails – Community Trails Strategy will be refreshed in 2025.
Cycling – Cycling Master Plan recently approved.
Major Cultural Venues – The city is well served in this area through significant investments over the past 10-15 years.
Municipal Golf Course – Subject to specific business reviews
Heritage Buildings – E.g., LaSalle Pavilion, Paletta Mansion. Require focused business reviews.
Joint Ventures – These community driven initiatives accommodate specialized recreational interests and programming, over and above the City’s typical service provisions. Joint Venture initiatives are evaluated on a case- by-case basis. The City will be undertaking a broad governance accountability review of city-affiliated service organizations including Joint Ventures (JV) and Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABC).

PRCAMP Work Plan
The following table provides a high level workplan for the PRCAMP Update.

Phase Work Activities
Project Planning
Q1 2023 o Data collection
Project Structure – Steering Committee, Project Team
RFP – Hire Planning Consultant

Situation Analysis
Q2 2023 o Review relevant policies and plans
Review current levels of service and benchmark with other municipalities
Assess non-municipal recreation services in the city
Assess functionality, capacity and utilization of existing city facilities
Review current demographic profile
Review development and population growth forecasts
Review trends in recreation and leisure participation and facility development
Understand partnership models that support service delivery

Phase Work Activities
Community Engagement
Q3 to Q4 2023 o Community and user group surveys
Stakeholder focus groups
Public Information Centres
Council interviews, workshop
Identification of key findings and strategic themes

Q4 2023 to Q2 2024 o Develop recommendations and strategies
Internal review and consultation
Prepare reports
Opportunity for public review and comment
Seek Council approval


As a head start to this project, work has already started on various tasks in the Situation Analysis Phase including data collection and an analysis of current service levels, capacity, utilization, and distribution of existing recreational assets.

Next Steps
Staff are in the process of retaining a multi-disciplinary consulting team to lead this project. The award of the contract is anticipated in early April. All data and background research work completed to date will be handed over to the new consultant.

Total Financial Impact
The will determine the need for new city recreation and leisure facilities and revitalization of existing facilities needs over a long-term horizon of 20-30 years.
The Master Plan team will come forward in 2024 with a prioritization of capital needs, associated costing, and timing.

Staff will be reporting back on the City’s multi-year community investment plan in Q4 2023 to include completed master plans to date:  Integrated Mobility Plan, Fire Master Plan, Transit Master Plan), and overview of funding options resulting from Health report, Bill 23 Impact Analysis, new park dedication by-law, CBC and DC updates, etc. The MCIP will provide a preliminary financing strategy to assist in meeting the objectives of the master plans completed to date and will set the stage for financing future master plans, such as the Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan which is scheduled for completion in 2024.

The MCIP will continue to be refined to encompass changes to investment opportunities subject to completion of master plans, funding opportunities and city priorities.

Source of Funding
The PRCAMP Update has an approved budget of $200,000 in capital account PR0205 (Parks and Open Space). Most of the budget will be used for consultant fees. Other minor expenses include advertising, mail-outs, printing, and meeting expenses.

Other Resource Impacts
The master plan will involve staff from many Departments on various committees and teams including:
Recreation, Community and Culture (*Lead Department)
Engineering Services (Parks Design and Construction, Asset Planning, Geomatics)
Finance
Roads, Parks and Forestry
Corporate Communications and Engagement
Community Planning

Climate Implications
New weather patterns are certainly affecting recreational services including more rain and extreme storms, heat waves, higher UV index, and milder winters.

The need for more shade and shelters, water fountains, water play features to cool off, better field drainage, more reliable playing surfaces like artificial turf, and refrigerated outdoor skating surfaces are potential responses to climate change.

Finally, the protection and enhancement of green spaces and vegetation is also critical in reducing the urban heat island effect, slowing stormwater runoff and erosion, improving air quality, supporting local biodiversity and urban wildlife.

Engagement Matters:
A robust community engagement program will be implemented to get the broadest community perspectives on sport, recreation and cultural service needs. The engagement program will be finalized once the successful consultant is selected.

A communication plan will be developed to support the engagement program and ensure a high level of community awareness of the master plan initiative and opportunities for getting involved.

Council will be made aware of all community engagement opportunities before the public is notified. The community engagement will also help to inform the programmatic direction, use and functional design of the former Bateman H.S. Community Centre, and ensure that it aligns with broader community needs for recreation, arts and cultural programs and services.

Conclusion:
Once completed, the updated master plan will inform our multi-year community investment plan, future capital budgets and development charge reviews.

The recommendation from the Standing Committee will go to Council April 18th

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Ward 1 community meeting - a bit on the bumpy side for the Council member

By Staff

March 27, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith

And just how did things go for Councillor Galbraith last week at his meeting with his constituents ?

He had an audience of about 20 people – some that were very unhappy. Those that seemed to have slept during the election that returned him to office and are now ‘aroused’ and asking very direct questions.

The event was live at the East Plains Road United Church and virtual as well. No numbers on how many took part virtually other than they didn’t ask a single question.

That might be enough to convince Galbraith to stick with the virtual format and forget pressing the flesh.

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Everything you need to know about how the coyote problem is being managed - including sponsoring one of them if they are collared.

By Pepper Parr

March 27th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The strategy and plans to manage the coyote problem in Burlington will be in front of Council on Tuesday

A very attractive animal that tends to steer clear of people but will come very close and on occasion threaten people when it has not been able to find the food it needs.

While Coyote sightings are common in Burlington, the 7 unprovoked attacks of that took place in 2022 had people frightened and angry and wanting better management of the problem.

The Burlington & Oakville Coyote Management (BOCM) prepared a report and gave it to the city manager who, for reasons that were never clear, sat on it. Several Council members fumed over that. The city manager did eventually meet with the BOCM people; the city adopted a number of the recommendations, showing that citizens can make valuable contributions if staff would learn to listen to and take on ideas that make sense and compliment what Staff have done.

Dr. Dennis Murray, associate professor of biology at Trent University, said in a CBC program that “, the rapid rise in the coyote’s range and urban population is due to the intersection of many different ecological issues. Climate change plays a part. Coyotes do better when there’s less snow and so have been able to expand their range northwards. The absence of bigger predators like wolves has meant less competition for prey animals. And, Murray adds, the way we’ve built cities has changed to incorporate more parkland and green space, which is ideal coyote habitat.”

Police successfully tranquilized this bear and then caught it when it fell to the ground.

Wildlife control is a function of the Province with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry overseeing the issue. They say “Wildlife such as coyotes, wolves, and other fur bearing mammals sometimes come into conflict with people. Municipalities are responsible for deciding on and taking appropriate actions when human-wildlife encounters create ongoing conflict situations on municipal property and can also take action on private property with the permission of the landowner.

The province supports municipalities by providing advice and expertise on actions they can take to resolve such situations.

However, when prevention fails, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act allows municipalities to protect their property by harassing, capturing or dispatching a variety of wildlife species, including coyotes, or to hire a licensed hunter or trapper to do so on their behalf. Municipalities may also take action to address human-wildlife conflicts on private property with the permission of the landowner. No approval or authorization is required from the province in these cases.

Municipalities may pay licensed hunters or trappers to hunt or trap fur bearing mammals within their municipal boundaries. The municipality determines the terms of any such arrangement, including the species of fur bearing mammals, the hunters or trappers involved, the number of animals, and the locations and time periods that apply.”

Burlington Animal Services recently completed the contract staff (2) hiring process for the CAAP (Coyote Action and Awareness Program) and the Animal Services team is now currently staffed with one supervisor, six animal control officers and four animal care and licensing attendants. Animal control officers are directly responsible for administering and enforcing applicable animal laws and regulations of the Province of Ontario and City by-laws pertaining to animals.

In the provision of the services, Burlington residents are assisted with stray animals, rabies mitigation, dangerous animal investigations, animal nuisances, loose livestock, injured animals and deceased animal pickup with these requests being related to domestic and/or wildlife.

While coyotes represent an increasingly difficult challenge, an increased demand has also been placed on Animal Services to deal with domestic animal issues; namely aggressive dogs in City-owned public parks and open space. Domestic animal bites alone account for almost 1 incident per week over the past 2 years 2021/2022.

Animal control officers are responsible for providing public education related to co- existing with coyotes including hazing techniques, assessing properties for known coyote attractants, investigations into encounters and attacks, investigating and issuing fines for illegally feeding coyotes and other wildlife, monitoring known coyote dens, and locating and eliminating coyotes involved in attacks on residents.

CAAP – Coyote Action and Awareness Program

The city installed signs in the parts of the city where coyote sighting were very high and where people had been bitten or nudged.

The seven physical coyote attacks on residents in 2022 during a 9-week period from July 30th to September 20th, 2022, Resulted in the activation of the Level II Crisis Management Team and followed the Coyote Response Strategy Escalation Protocol approved by Council. The Animal Services team focused their resources on locating and tracking the coyotes responsible and collaborated with a Certified Wildlife Professional (CWP) in their elimination.

A city manager’s office report estimated 2022 one-time cost of $22,850.

The Manager of Procurement Services was authorized to sign a multi-year agreement with the CWP for the remainder of 2022 and the duration of 2023, with the option to renew for three additional one year terms.

One of the results of the coyote experience was the consideration on the establishment of the proposed new Bylaw Compliance Department inclusive of an enhanced coyote response model as part of the Animal Services function.

That would mean the hiring of a new Director of Bylaw Compliance, to undertake a full review and update of the current City of Burlington Animal Services Bylaw (By-law 60-2005) and Coyote Response Strategy by Q4 2023.

Many of the recommendations of the community association – Burlington & Oakville Coyote Management (BOCM) were taken up and implemented by Staff.

The City Manager will be directed to initiate meetings, as required, with the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town of Oakville and senior staff of both Burlington and Oakville to develop and implement a coordinated work-plan related to both the BOCM recommendations as well as other City/Town coyote response initiatives including, but not limited to, joint procurement of external professional wildlife management services, joint coyote related data collection, research and analysis and public educational and awareness programs and possible mutual coyote response service agreements.

Roads, Parks and Forestry will be directed to procure and install lids for non-decorative garbage cans in the immediate area of coyote concern, to an upset limit of $15,000 in 2022; and

Building and Bylaw will be instructed to adopt a pro-active coyote response strategy model including adding two additional contract Bylaw Enforcement Officers, and engage appropriate coyote specialist resources to assist with investigations, canine response team, training staff and members of the public.

Direct the Mayor and Government Relations Manager to connect with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and other ministries as needed, to formally request emergency funding, and staffing support, to help the City respond to coyote attacks in Burlington; and

The Executive Director of Legal Services and Corporation Counsel and the Director of Building and Bylaw reviewed the current fine structure for illegal dumping contained in the Lot Maintenance By-law and bring back options to increase the fines for ticketing offences, Part I and the maximum fine for Part III offences for the feeding of wildlife.

A city-wide mailing and social media communication plan was implemented that focused solely on the fact that the recent crisis of aggressive wildlife attacks is the direct result of illegal dumping and/or feeding of wildlife.

The Senior leadership, via implementation of the ECG (Emergency Control Group) identified immediate needs to have resources on hand and available for immediate deployment; Burlington has continued the procurement of a roster of CWPs (Certified Wildlife Professionals) trained and accredited to use lethal and non-lethal measures in Coyote control and mitigation tactics.

Interesting that the city hasn’t issued any reports on the size of the coyote population and where they have taken up residence. Do we know anything about the possible size of the pups born in the Spring ?

Trained and certified wild life experts knew how to find coyote dens.

City staff are able to assess potential den locations to either mitigate or remove the location prior to it becoming a public safety threat. To date a number of property audits have already been completed with highly positive feedback from the community.

Increased community visibility, signs  and coyote education programs, via town halls, school pop-ups and proactive patrols are the continued focus of the CAAP team in 2023 and 2024 based on the two-year pilot time frame.

The education and enforcement regarding feeding of wildlife continues to be the foundational basis for the program, which also expands into proactive park patrols for domestic animals off-leash as well as the failure to remove domestic animal waste. This provides the community with multiple channels for relaying information to officers, either via email, telephone, or personal conversation with an officer patrolling a specific park or ward. This amplifies community engagement as well adds an additional layer of security by officers being readily available for any coyote-related issues which may arise.

A number of the 11 recommendations in the BOCM report were used by the city. There are joint meetings of Oakville and Burlington Animal Services staff where opportunities to work together to advance the recommendations provided by BOCM. Staff appreciate the efforts of BOCM and acknowledge that while all of the recommendations have been fully considered, not all of the recommendations have been supported.

When confronted by an angry coyote citizens were told to back away slowly – not to run and to report the sighting immediately.

The traumatic physical attacks have changed the dynamics of coyote-human co- existence within Burlington. While the City’s approved Coyote Strategy protocols addressed how unprovoked and provoked physical attacks would and in fact should be handled, those incidents have demonstrated the need for ongoing proactive response tactics, the implementation and endorsement of the CAAP program is achieving positive results.

Consideration is being given to the ability to track, tag and potentially collar urban coyotes. This program could potentially have revenue streams attached in the capacity of base donations or sponsorships of the animals being digitally monitored similar to the Yellowstone Wolf Program (State of Montana).

The costs incurred during 2022 were $88,190. These costs were not budgeted and therefore absorbed as part of the 2022 yea rend financial position

Total Financial Impact
The 2023 budget included a one-time funding in the amount of $580,488.00 for a two- year coyote response strategy. The two-year program includes two contract animal control officers, communication and literature costs as well as purchased services of CWPs and veterinary expenses.

Coyote pouncing on a spot where it has senses there is a small animal.

Coyotes have existed within the City of Burlington for decades and will continue to thrive in this current climate. Recent aggressive behaviour including the 2022 physical attacks on residents brought about the urgent need to enhance our response strategy and implement a rapid action team (CAAP) to deal with these urgent issues. Our ability to coexist with these animals is dependent on public understanding and controlled interactions which reduce the level of fear and increase the aversion conditioning tactics required to maintain that balance.

Council’s unequivocal support of the additional tactics and resources proposed will ensure that the Animal Services team is equipped to address escalated coyote situations in an expeditious manner.

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The housing development sector likes the provincial budget

By Staff

March 27th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The West End Home Builders’ Association likes the provincial budget.

“We warmly welcome the number the important investments within the budget today aimed at filling labour gaps and supporting critical infrastructure, so we can deliver keys to more families, faster,” noted West End Home Builders’ Association (WE HBA) President Terri Johns. “The residential construction industry is encouraged by today’s budget because it means the provincial government recognizes the need to build a strong foundation to construct the 1.5 million homes we need over the next decade, essential to restoring housing attainability in Ontario.

Training construction workers to build the 29,000 units Burlington is expected to build by 2031 was part of the provincial budget.

“Investments of an additional $75 million for the Skills Development Fund (SDF) will make it easier for our province to build the skilled workforce of tomorrow. The Ontario Home Builder’ Association’s highly successful Job Ready program that helps introduce young people to rewarding careers in the skilled trades has been supported by the SDF in the past and we will continue to push for this support in the future. Furthermore, an investment of over $20 billion dollars towards vital highway, transit and infrastructure projects will also create new links throughout our province, help connect people and underpin more housing options. Finally, we are pleased to hear the provincial government is continuing conversations with the federal government on exempting the GST/HST on new housing and rental.

WE HBA CEO Mike Collins-Williams

“Today’s provincial budget takes important steps forward to help accelerate the delivery of housing supply in communities big and small across Ontario,” noted WE HBA CEO Mike Collins-Williams. “Making it easier to get into the skilled trades and investing in crucial highway infrastructure will help make it possible for awaiting families to get the keys to their new home sooner and increase the volume and variety of housing options our province needs.

“Whether it is the millennial first time home buyer, working adult, young family or retiree, Ontarians need more attainable housing. Without the right mix of home ownership, including rental options, Ontario risks economic damage as opportunities, investments and businesses will leave in search of jurisdictions that provide greater housing choice and supply. Significantly increasing housing supply and variety is critical to ensuring Ontario can remain the economic engine of Canada. We will continue to champion investments and initiatives that increase housing supply and choice so that more Ontarians can find a place where they can live, work and raise a family.

About West End HBA: Since 1942, the West End Home Builders’ Association (WE HBA) has been the voice of the local residential construction industry. WE HBA provides an effective voice for the land development, home building and renovation industries, as well as for new home buyers. WE HBA is actively engaged in working to ensure its members’ interests are represented at all three levels of government and advocates on behalf of consumers for choice, affordability, and sufficient supply.

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Around the Bay road race drew 6000 participants

By Staff

March 27th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

A long-awaited pause that refreshes for Toronto’s Breanna Power.

The oldest road running race, Around the Bay, took place on Sunday with 6,000 runners involved.

Haichu Du of Mississauga (left) and Holger Kleinke (right) of Waterloo chase the rabbit in Aldershot.

The 2023 edition of the Around the Bay Road Race had 5K, 30K and relays.

Ottawa runner Blair Morgan and Toronto’s Sasha Gollish were the top men’s and women’s finishers in the 30K, both grabbing the first ATB wins of their careers. Morgan finished in a winning time of 1:37:46, and Gollish crossed the line in 1:48:03 for the women’s win and eighth overall.

Photographs by Denis Gibbons

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Burlington Blast U16 Ringette players at the countdown stage for the National Championships in Regina

By Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Blast will be in Regina early in April for the National Championship games in the U16 category.

They are nonpracticing hard on and off the ice as they prepare for the National Championships that will take up 7 days.

The Bake Sale went well

Prior to heading out to Regina they were fund raising and using GO Fund Me to raise funds.

The Bake Sale on March 25th went well as did the Clothing Drive.

The Team has their Go Fund Me page going. Link: https://gofund.me/dfcc44b8

Ankles and thighs need to be in top shape if you are going to play at the National Championship level.

Erin O’Grady-Bimm, Assistant Coach/Trainer is working with the players regularly getting them to the point where they will be at the top of their game when they head for Regina.

The 7-day event will take place from April 9-15th, 2023, and will crown national champions in U16, U19 and National Ringette League divisions.

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Designing Complete Communities for a Future Burlington

By Pepper Parr

March 27th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Council will meet in a Workshop setting on Thursday the 30th  to begin its work on the next version of its multi-year workplan Vision to Focus (V2F).

The agenda for the meeting makes the point that as the City continues to grow, a strategic response to emerging economic and demographic changes is needed.. The strategic approaches provide guidance and priorities for the decisions made that impact the future of the city.

The picture was taken before the Pier was completed and before the Bridgewater development was started.

In the last year, municipalities have experienced some of the most significant changes to planning processes ever seen.

Some of the legislative changes and decisions have immediate and time sensitive impacts to our work and outcomes for Burlington.

The V2F (Vision to Focus)and Strategic Plan work creates opportunities to explore and consider new organizational focus areas and strategic directions to support a comprehensive approach to designing complete communities for the future.

The goal of the Workshop is to explore opportunities for

Shaping the organization’s strategic directions and focus

Bringing awareness to transforming related decision-making processes within the organization to achieve the provincial housing pledge and accommodate the anticipated population growth in Burlington; 29,000 new homes by 2031.

Designing Complete Communities for the Future of Burlington becoming a comprehensive and holistic approach for the City

Inspiring the community, Council, and staff about the future of Burlington

Michael Moffatt, Senior Director of Policy and Innovation will speak about Setting the Context for Designing Complete Communities.  He will be followed by Scott Pickles, Principal & Senior Vice President, Canada Consulting Leader at Avison Young Global who will speak on Placemaking Today and Strategies for Designing Complete Communities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ford government ends a health program on very short notice - ending a crucial, long-standing gap in health coverage now, is 'devastatingly cruel'

By Staff

March 26th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario government is bringing to a close a program that would pay hospital and physician costs for the uninsured, a move some argue will leave vulnerable residents without necessary medical care.

The Physician and Hospital Services for Uninsured Persons program started in March 2020. Under the plan, hospitals and doctors were allowed to bill the government for “medically necessary” treatments provided to patients without OHIP coverage.

Dr. Andrew Boozary

The program was timed to COVID, but it was never COVID-specific; all medically necessary care was eligible for reimbursement.

Advocates who deal with the undocumented and the homeless say it closed a crucial, long-standing gap in Ontario health coverage. Shutting it down now, they argue, is “devastatingly cruel.”

“We are now talking about a health system in Ontario where unhoused, newly landed permanent residents, temporary workers and international students run the risk of major medical bills and debt,” said Dr. Andrew Boozary, a primary care physician and executive director of population health and social medicine at Toronto’s University Health Network on Twitter. “The mirage of universality is over.”

Ontario hospitals were informed of the coming change, effective April 1, in a Ministry of Health memo. Many physicians only learned of it Friday night when the Ontario Medical Association sent out a note to its membership.

“It was a shocking Friday evening email,” Boozary said.

The ministry memo described the program as an effort “to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by allowing uninsured persons in Ontario, including those without Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage or other health insurance, to access medically necessary physician and hospital services.”

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Millcroft Greenspace Alliance begins its fund raising drive

By Staff

March 26th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Millcroft Greenspace Alliance will hold its second community meeting on Monday May 8, 2023 at 7pm at Grace United Church (Millcroft Park Drive and Walkers Line).

As part of our commitment to transparency and community engagement, we look forward to bringing our neighbours together to:

Recap the success our community achieved from the September meeting
Learn about MGA’s ongoing initiatives to preserve the Millcroft Greenspace
Discover how you can get involved in saving the Millcroft Greenspace
Provide an overview of key dates of the OLT process leading up to the hearing
Connect with neighbours and friends!

The infrastructure which should not be disturbed drains away water from heavy rain

Millcroft Greenspace Alliance has formed a partnership with Small Change Fund, a registered charity. Your tax-deductible contributions to our project will allow Millcroft Greenspace Alliance to hire an experienced lawyer, and subsequently technical experts to argue our case against development on the Millcroft floodplain. Our need is urgent the professional talent is needed before the OLT meeting. Please click below to donate today!

Click HERE to donate – Tax receipt provided

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Halton Region seeking public input on key priorities for 2023-2026

By Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Think through the really important issues – the attempt on the part of the provincial government to tear up the Green belt, the very significant growth the province is expecting the municipal sector to deliver on.

The province has actually asked the municipalities to sign a pledge to deliver a specific number of new homes – for Burlington it is 29,000 by 2031.
Municipalities don’t built homes – the developers do that. What the province wants the municipalities to do is make the process development applications have to go through as easy as possible – easier said than done.

Burlington has a two tier form of government. It is part of the Region of Halton which is made up of Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills.

The Region handles Waste Management, water services, police services, public health and social welfare. Some roads are deemed to be Regional Roads – Dundas is an example.
When municipalities have to borrow large sums debentures are issued by the Region on behalf of the municipality.

Halton Regional Council is developing a Strategic Business Plan that will guide the Region’s work over the next four years. To seek input from the public, the Region has prepared a Consultation Document that outlines four key themes with proposed goals, actions and measures. Once approved, the 2023-2026 Plan will set the strategic direction and priorities for the four-year term of office.

Environment and Climate Change

Waste management

Police Services

“From clean drinking water to resilient infrastructure, public health programs, financial assistance and family supports, our services contribute to a high quality of life in the Halton community,” said Gary Carr, Halton Regional Chair. “With Halton expected to grow to 1.1 million residents by 2051, our priorities must reflect the needs of the community to preserve this high quality of life. Public participation in our strategic planning process is important, and I look forward to hearing the priorities from our community.”

Between March 23 and May 4, 2023, Halton Region is asking residents, businesses and stakeholders, as well as Indigenous People, Communities and First Nations, to participate in consultation activities and provide feedback on the Consultation Document. The community can visit halton.ca/strategicplan to:

take a short online survey; and/or
• attend a virtual public meeting through Zoom or by phone on the following dates:
o Wednesday, April 12, 2023 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
o Tuesday, April 25, 2023 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Community input will inform the final version of the 2023-2026 Strategic Business Plan, which will be presented to Regional Council for approval in July.

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Applications for Cohort 2 of the i.d.e.a. Fund program are now open!

By Staff

March 25th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They call it seed money – the cash needed to get an idea from concept to the point where it can be shown to be financially viable.

The people behind these ideas are almost always young – they have incredible energy and the are very very smart.

But they don’t have any money – the need cash and support from people who have gone down this road and succeeded.

That’s where the federal government (Ontario also has similar programs.)

With funding from Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, six Regional Innovation Centres, including Haltech, have combined efforts to offer selected businesses the opportunity to re-work their products, services, processes and technologies to focus on reducing impact on the environment. This includes mentorship support to grow and accelerate their business.

If you’re an incorporated business located in southern Ontario, with high growth potential, and have fewer than 500 employees, you might qualify.

What can your business receive if you are selected?

Seed Funding & Support

• Non-repayable seed funding of up to $30,000 with matching funds
• Up to 40 hours of fully funded, targeted support from business leaders

Expert Help

Our experts have the knowledge and experience to help you address challenges and move your business forward in all areas including:

Having access to people who have been down the road you are about to go down is essential.

• Growth plans and strategies
• Talent attraction
• Raising follow-on investment
• Market diversification
• Product development
• Quantification of product benefits
• Market value propositions
• Commercialization of intellectual property

Who can Apply?

We’re looking for 120 companies that are:

• High potential businesses that have growth potential
• Committed to reducing their impact on the environment by developing new or redesigning:
• Products
• Services
• Processes
• Technologies

Learn More & Apply

The numbers are important – you want access to someone who has the experience you do not yet have.

The first cohort of this program concluded on February 28, 2023. Cohort 2 will begin in June 2023 and continues to December 31, 2023.

If you’re unsure of your eligibility, consult the i.d.e.a. Fund Program Guide for full selection criteria.

Still not sure if your company is a fit?
Join us for any one of three info sessions

Info Session 1
March 28 | 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Register Here

Info Session 2
April 5 | 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Register Here

Info Session 3
April 13 | 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Register Here

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The BPAC Season comes to an end - three performances left + the BTTB

By Pepper Parr

March 25th.2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Well 2023 was a lot better for the Performing Arts Centre than the two previous years.

Tammy Fox, the Executive Director of the Performing Arts Centre has theatre in her DNA and blood that flows faster when there is applause had a very tough time dealing with stages that were dark.

Tammy Fox and her team celebrating the opening of the Season that did have hiccups – the band that arrived – but their equipment didn’t.

Tammy Fox, Executive Director put it this way when she said: “It is hard to believe that the 2022/2023 Season at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is coming to a close! It has been a wonderful Season, coming out from shutdowns and limitation, and performances have been selling out, showing us all that the arts is not just needed but embraced, particularly in these post pandemic times when we all need a little extra joy and escape.

“This Season, BPAC has once again been able to present many tremendous artists. We have featured holiday favourites, lively comedians, spectacular illusionists, iconic rock legends, family fun and supported local talent on our stages and outdoor plaza. The final three shows of our Season, appealing to a wide variety of patrons, include the return of the award-winning Indigenous music of TWIN FLAMES, the quirky comedy of SEAN CULLEN and his surprise guests and an engaging performance of Lightwire Theater’s THE UGLY DUCKLING for our next generation of theatre-goers.”

This husband and wife duo bring an Indigenous richness, combining the language and culture from Métis, Algonquin Cree, Inuk and Mohawk

Back by popular demand, Twin Flames, sponsored by Mending the Chasm, will be at BPAC for one night, performing in the intimate Community Studio Theatre.

This husband and wife duo bring an Indigenous richness, combining the language and culture from Métis, Algonquin Cree, Inuk and Mohawk as well as French culture and language in their music and storytelling. Twin Flames has been long-celebrated for building bridges across cultures, styles and continents and have 41 awards and nominations to their name.

Enjoy their Grace Too, nod to Gord Downie and the work he did to increase awareness and understanding toward reconciliation.  The band will be in Burlington on March 30th, at 7:30pm and there are limited tickets available so do not wait to secure your seat!

Twin Flames
Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Community Studio Theatre
440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario
Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 | https://burlingtonpac.ca/events/twin-flames/
Tickets: Regular $39.50 / Members $34.50

Good Friday, April 7th, at 4pm enjoy the last our Family programming with Lightwire Theater: THE UGLY DUCKLING. Gaining popularity as semi finalists on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Lightwire Theater combines theatre, dance, and technology to bring stories to life in complete darkness. They have been internationally recognized for their electroluminescent artistry and creativity. Each character in the performance takes nearly 200 hours to create and runs off batteries, there are no cords or cables restricting the movement of the characters. Bringing life to the classic tale of The Ugly Duckling, vibrant colours, poignant choreography and the creative use of music from classical to pop, this production will leave you wanting more.

Lightwire Theater: The Ugly Duckling
Friday April 7, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Main Theatre
440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario
Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 | https://burlingtonpac.ca/events/the-ugly-duckling/
Tickets: Regular $35 / Members $30

The final installment of Sean Cullen’s Comedy Cocktail, sponsored by Joe Apps Technology – Comedy Series Sponsor, will leave us laughing until next Season! Resident comedian Sean Cullen brings his guest comedians and ties together humour and music in a fantastically funny performance in our Community Studio Theatre, a perfect spot for a comedy show. On April 12th at 7:30pm in our Community Studio Theatre, a perfect spot for a comedy show you will find Sean, Nigel Grinstead, Jackie Pirico and musical talent Loverboat.

Comedian Nigel Grinstead’s laid back charm and absurd takes on life has earned him the reputation of being one of the most imaginative comics in Canada. A staff writer on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Grinstead kick started his career winning multiple comedy competitions, including Just For Laughs. He has performed in festivals across the country and has the distinct honour of taping three sets at Just For Laughs to air on The Comedy Network.

Jackie Pirico has been named by Exclaim! Magazine as a quickly rising force in comedy and an “adept comic scene stealer” by the Hollywood Reporter. She was also received a Juno nomination for her comedy album Splash Pad this year. Pirico’s oddball material and disarming style will delight the BPAC audience. Catch her in the feature film Sundowners, Viceland TV and the new mockumentary series New Eden, found on Crave.

Musical interludes offered by Loverboat, the musical duo of Meher Steinberg and Ian Good featuring yacht rock themed music but waaaay spacier. Enjoy their new genre “Space Yacht”, available for all occasions.

 

Sean Cullen

Sean Cullen’s Comedy Cocktail
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Community Studio Theatre
440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario
Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 | https://burlingtonpac.ca/events/sean-cullens-comedy-cocktail-apr/
Tickets: Regular $39.50 / Members $34.50

The full schedule of BPAC Presents events is available HERE

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