Could those hydro towers be moved from the beach to QEW or disappear altogether; depends on how much we want to spend.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 9, 2015


Things get done by a city government when orders are sent out.

City Council is being asked to:

Authorize the Executive Director of Capital Works to support the implementation of the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan under the leadership of the Region of Halton.

The report put before the Standing Committee this week is to:

confirm staff commitment to assist the Region of Halton with the implementation of the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan (Master Plan) in accordance with directions approved by Regional Council

provide information related to the Region of Halton’s application for Canada 150 funding

provide a summary of findings to date for options to relocate/ bury the hydro lines

The fight to maintain the community of some 30 homes in the Beachway park wasn’t won but it wasn’t lost either – things are sort of at a standoff with the Regional government saying they will wait until a property owner is ready to sell and they will then negotiate a price and the deal will be closed. It’s a sort of grind them down over time – and so far it’s working.

Beachway - Full park

Region has applied for federal funding to get started on the Beachway Park

aIn the meantime plans for a park that the public first got a glimpse of last June are well underway,

The Master Plan project is being led by the Region of Halton, in partnership with the City of Burlington and Conservation Halton. The three agencies worked closely together to develop the Master Plan that was approved at Regional Council on May 27, 2015.

Beachway 1011 sold for $600k

There was a willing seller for this house – and the one next door to it as well – they are being bought up one by one.

The long-term implementation of the Master Plan is based on acquisition of all properties on a willing-seller/ willing -buyer basis, as approved at Regional Council on May 27, 2015. The Master Plan provides a guide for the implementation of improvements to this exceptional waterfront resource. This requires continued commitment by city staff to work with the Region of Halton to:

prepare detailed design and phasing plans
obtain approvals
administer contracts for construction

The federal government created the Canada 150 Fund as part of the celebration of the country’s 150th birthday in 2017. Canadian municipal governments and their institutions have been invited to apply for funding of various projects.

The Region of Halton applied for federal funding through the Canada 150 Infrastructure Fund for implementation of the approved Master Plan. Applications for the following stages of development of the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park were submitted:

rehabilitation and expansion of the “Living Shoreline” in Beachway Park
renovation of the Waterfront Trail (promenade) in Spencer Smith Park
rehabilitation of the “Strand” in Beachway Park

Subject to funding, the tentative schedule is to issue a Request for Proposal for consulting services to prepare the detailed design this year; and to complete the construction in 2017/ 2018 to meet the deadline stipulated by the funding.

Beachway hydro Opt 2 west side of QEW

Illustration on where the hydro line could go if it were to the west of the QEW

These works will be coordinated with other related works required at Spencer Smith Park including improvements to drainage at the promenade and repairs to the parapet wall. The city will contribute to funding of infrastructure renewal items and to support staff fees, subject to approval of the 2016 Capital Budget and 2017 – 2025 Forecast.

Beachway hydro option 1 east of QEW

Illustration of where the hydro wires could go if they were to the east of the QEW

Hydro Lines Relocation
Back in June 2013 Hydro One undertook a preliminary investigation to review options and determine high level costs for the relocation and/ or burial of the hydro lines located in Beachway Park. Three options were out forward

Option 1- Relocate structures/ lines westward to the east side of the QEW
build new structures #18 to 26 including 5 new lattice towers and 4 new steel pole structures
remove existing structures #18 to 26
estimated high level cost $8 – 9 million

Option 2- Relocate structures/ lines westward to the west side of the QEW
build new structures #18 to 26 including 6 new lattice towers and 4 new steel pole structures
requires two QEW crossings
remove existing structures #18 to 26
estimated high level cost $9 – 10 million

Option 3- Relocate structures/ lines underground to the west side of the beach, east of Lakeshore Road
keep towers #17 and #27 and bury the sections in between
remove existing structures #18 – 26
estimated high level cost $32 – 36 million

Beachway hydro option 3 underground

Illustration of where the hydro wires would go if they were buried – best solution and of course the priciest one.

The Region of Halton has determined that approximately $12 million is required to relocate the hydro lines. Staff from the region and the city have met to review the high level options. The Region of Halton will lead further study required to determine a preferred option for more detailed assessment.

Financial Matters:

The region has applied for funding toward implementation of the Master Plan through the Canada 150 Infrastructure Fund, with matching funding to be provided by the region.

Further funding to continue implementation of the Master Plan is currently under consideration by the region and subject to approval of the region’s budget, anticipated to be approved in December 2015.

The city has budgeted funds for infrastructure renewal improvements to Spencer Smith Park which will be included with the project and yearly funding for staff fees to support continued commitment to this project, subject to approval of the 2016 Capital Budget and 2017 – 2025 Forecast.

Current budget impacts, related to ongoing requirements to maintain/ operate the park as the park improvements are implemented will be brought forward as part of the current budget process.

The next step is to learn just what the city might get from the federal  Canada 150 funding opportunity.

Our former MP Mike Wallace will have had a firm understanding as to just what was possible – Karina Gould, the newly elected MP will have to be reading late into the night to learn how the program works and develop the relationships that will be needed to get whatever is possible for Burlington.

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Transit Detours on Routes 3, 5 and 300 for Remembrance Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015





A Remembrance Day Ceremony will be taking place in downtown Burlington on Wednesday Nov. 11, 2015.

Buses will be detoured from approximately 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as follows:

Routes 3 South and 5 East to Burlington GO
• Leaving the Downtown Terminal
• Right on James Street
• Left on Drury Lane
• Left on Prospect Street
• Right on Brant Street
• Resume regular routing

Route 300 to LaSalle
• Regular routing to Downtown Terminal
• Right at James Street
• Right at Elizabeth Street
• Right at Lakeshore Road
• Right at Burlington Street
• Left at Ontario Street
• Resume regular routing

Routes 3 North and 5 West to Downtown Terminal
• Leaving Burlington GO Station
• Regular routing until Brant and Prospect Streets
• Left on Prospect Street
• Right on Drury Lane
• Right on New Street
• Left on John Street to Downtown Terminal
Route 300 to Seniors’ Centre
• Regular routing to Ontario Street
• Right at Burlington Avenue
• Left at Lakeshore Road
• Left at Elizabeth Street
• Left at James Street
• Left at John Street

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First glimpse of the draft Strategic Plan for the balance of this term of office - some rash deliverable dates were put on the table.

element_strategic_planBy Pepper Parr

October 28, 2105


After a long summer break when meetings with more than 70 groups or individuals were held by KPMG, the consultants working with the city to create the Strategic Plan that will guide the city for the balance of this term of office the public finally got to see where the city is going with its Strategic Plan

The 2014 – 2018 Strategic Plan is being done in a significantly different way than the 2010 – 2013 plan. This time the consultants are doing much more of the early work; in the previous plan members of Council and staff met on more than eight occasions and debated a lot of the issues that were being put forward.

In the 2010 to 2013 Strategic Plan, the Mayors Chief of Staff was a major participant – so much so that more than one member of Council to Frank McKeown as the “seventh” council member, not always in a positive tone of voice.

At a meeting in July staff, Council and the consultants laid out what had to be collected in terms of data and how it was to be presented in the fall.

Strat Plan 2nd side room

Councillor Craven on the far left chaired the meeting – Councillor Dennison was out of the city. Mayor Goldring, his city manager is out of sight to his right. City General Manager Scott Stewart was surprisingly quiet during the first day of discussion and debate

The meetings held last week didn’t see all that much data – what Council and far fewer staff than in the previous plan saw was an early draft of what will become what the public gets to see.

The document will go through more “wordsmithing” and the addition of some data along with the comments members of Council made as the consultants went through the four “pillars” that the Strategic Plan will rest on. Each of the “pillars” has a rationale WORD that everything else flows from.

Those four “pillars” that are creating Burlington as a city for the balance of this term of office are

A city that grows
A city that moves
A city that is healthier and greener,
and a city that leads.

Appreciate that these are draft concepts and might see some changes

Strat Plan meeting part of crowd

Council members and staff were arranged around a rectangle with the consultants facilitating most of the discussion. The Regional CAO, Jane MacCaskill and Regional Chair Gary Carr took part in the discussions – they were not participants in the 2010-2013 Strategic Plan.

The 2014-2018 Strategic Plan is being led to a considerable degree by a consulting team from KPMG. They have done most of the research and put together draft versions of the Strategic Plan which council members and some staff comment on and debate. The debates get prickly at times.

By growing they mean that Burlington will continue to grow as an independent community by increasing its population in targeted intensification areas and by becoming a magnet for talent and economic opportunity.

By a city that moves they mean: People and goods will move throughout the city more efficiently and safely. Regional flows of traffic inbound and outbound will increase in efficiency. A variety of convenient, affordable and green forms of transportation that that align with transportation patterns will be developed.

A fair amount of gobbledegook in that statement – it is a draft so perhaps some clarity will works its way into future versions of the document.

The focus on a “healthier and greener” city was not something that we saw much of in the previous Strategic Plan. The vision this time is that the city be a responsible steward of municipal air, land and water while encouraging healthier lifestyles.

To become a city that leads Council wants to be seen as a leader in governance, citizen engagement, excellence and innovation in service delivery.
So far what we have heard is a lot of high flying rhetoric with statements that may not connect very well with the average Burlingtonian on the GO train or stuck on the QEW.

Intense to the point of making delegations uncomfortable ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman does know how to drill down into the data and look for results.

Intense to the point of making delegations uncomfortable ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman does know how to drill down into the data and look for results.

The winner for the most ludicrous remark was Councillor Paul Sharman when he said: “We have to get the best bang for our buck right from the get go.”
The meeting, which took place during two half day meetings at LaSalle Park, was billed as a “Strategic Facility Check In” during which the first draft, written entirely by the consultants was reviewed.

The review included the strategic directions and supporting initiatives and the proposed performance indicators.
Each of the pillars –
had a rational statement attached to it with a number of Strategic actions and preliminary initiatives.

For growth these were:
Accelerate economic growth:

“Establish employment land targets that drive economic growth and create an employment lands vision that drives investment and growth in the highway corridor.”

Upper Middle Road looking east towards Burloak - primer commercial.  No takers?

Upper Middle Road looking east towards Burloak – designated as Employment lands. At least one member of Council would like to see this converted to residential.

There are a number of developers who have property classified as Employment Lands which they would love to see converted to residential where the return is much higher.

The city is required to ensure it has the Employment land it needs for future growth. One of the more lucrative pieces of property is along Upper Middle Road and Burloak owned by one of the larger property owners.

Expect the arm wrestling between Council and the development community to get interesting.

“Build one brand for the city that reflects the city’s vision.”

“The city will continue to promote and explore post-secondary partnerships including further developing an educational cluster around the DeGroote site and attracting a major educational facility to the Urban Core.”

There are conversations taking place between two community colleges and McMaster University that Councillor Craven didn’t want anything said about.  Serving as chair of the Committee of the Whole that was discussing the Strategic Plan he reminded his colleagues that there was media in the room.

“The city will develop a holistic strategy for Burlington’s rural area. This strategy will consider economic and social and environmental factors support of the rural community, agricultural industry, natural heritage and water resources.”


Is the Air Park an opportunity the city is going to take a pass on because it is too toxic legally?

What was both interesting and to some degree amazing was that not a single word was said about the Air Park property in the rural north. Properly developed with an owner that a conversation can be had with outside a court room, Burlington could be a city with a small air park that would make us a very desirable location for a large number of commercial operations.

Promote intensification:
“The city will focus intensification to key mixed use nodes and employment corridors by updating intensification targets and coordinating infrastructure to achieve growth objectives and will incorporate revised intensification targets through its Official Plan.”

“The city will demonstrate its commitment to growth management by preparing an intensification plan to manage projected growth and its related impacts.”

“This will be complete within two years.”

You can bet the barn that that statement will come back to bite someone’s rear end.

“The city will develop aging plazas and transform them into mixed use neighbourhood hubs.”

Smart population growth.
“Future development will be higher density, walkable, accessible and transit orientated. The city will become a leader in walkability measures in the province and will be fully aligned with provincial strategies and goals.”

“The city will prioritize one or two mobility hubs and use mechanisms to fast track the process using land use planning tools, public private partnerships and innovative funding, financing and delivery.”

“The prioritized hub will be incorporated into the Official Plan via a Master Plan for the hub within two years.

Another rash statement.”

“Within three years the city will develop a young family strategy, in cooperation with other levels of government that focuses on: (a) housing supply so that young families and newcomers can locate in Burlington and (b) provide social and economic infrastructure that supports youth, young family and newcomer economic, social and community goals.”

A process will be established to consult stakeholders to help gain consensus around a developable vision.

“The Strategic Plan discussions on a city that moves, is greener and leads will follow. This is complex stuff; it ties into intensification and the revision of the Official Plan that is also ongoing.”

There are at least two more meetings: a stakeholder’s review session and a review by city Council.

There was mention of a possible third meeting. And of course – the public will want to have a say. There wasn’t a lot of discussion about running all of this by the public. Not healthy.

Strat plan other part of room

KPMG consultants J. C Bourque and Mark MacDonald led council and senior staff through a detailed facilitated discussion during which changes to the early draft were made.

There is a lot more to be said about the Strategic Plan that is being put together – stay tuned!

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Heavy rainfall expected tomorrow: City asks residents to take steps to help reduce the risk of flooding

notices100x100By Staff

October 27, 2015


Neither the city or the regional governments wants to get caught over poor flood potential warnings.

This time everyone appears to be in town so we know where our leaders are – and they are telling us that the remnants of the hurricane that slammed into the west side of Mexico has worked its way north and that the city could see up to 50 cm of rainfall in a short period of time

The message to the citizens is that Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Halton Region, including Burlington, for significant rainfall beginning early tomorrow morning and continuing throughout the day.

Flood Fairview plaza

The city wants to be sure rainwater like this doesn’t collect anywhere is the city.

“The city began preparing for this weather event yesterday, checking inlet and outlet structures and catch basins to ensure they are clear,” said Cathy Robertson, director of road and parks maintenance at the City of Burlington.

“We are also encouraging residents to take steps around their homes to help reduce the risk of flooding,” Robertson said. “We are asking residents to check catch basins on their streets to make sure leaves are not blocking the flow of storm water into the sewers.”

If you are scheduled to receive leaf pick next week from the city’s leaf collection program, please wait until after the storm before raking your leaves to the curb for collection as gusty winds tomorrow will result in blowing leaves.

Pia bailing

There are residents throughout the city who do not want this kind of experience again.

Tips to protect your property from flooding during a heavy rainfall:

Ensure your eavestroughs and downspouts are clear of debris, draining properly, away from the foundation walls of your home.
• Use an extension for your downspouts and ensure they are directed away from the foundation walls.
• Look around your property for any obstructions that could prevent water from draining away from your home.
• Ensure window wells are free from debris to ensure proper drainage.
• Clear debris away from catch basins (sewer grates) on the road to help the flow of storm water into the storm sewer.

Conservation Halton advises that the Environment Canada Weather Office is forecasting a low pressure system associated with the remnants of Hurricane Patricia will be moving into the Great Lakes region this evening. The system is expected to bring significant rainfall along with strong and gusty winds over the next couple of days. Rain will be heavy at times. Latest indications suggest 25 to 40 mm of rain in most areas with locally higher amounts of 40 to 50 mm possible, especially near Lakes Erie and Ontario. There is also the possibility of convective cells within the storm which could add an additional 10 to 20 mm in isolated locations.

The forecasted rainfall will result in higher than normal water levels and flows in all our streams and creeks, resulting in dangerous flow conditions. While no flooding is anticipated, watercourses will be flowing higher than normal causing local streams and creeks to become dangerous, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges.

All good news – hopefully we have learned some lessons.

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Weapons amnesty ends in two days - police have set up a dedicated phone line

Crime 100By Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2015


The Halton Regional Firearms and Weapons Amnesty ends in two days October 29, 2015.

The police have encouraged people to surrender their unregistered or unwanted firearms and weapons to the Halton Regional Police.

This amnesty is an opportunity for members of the community to hand in firearms and/or weapons and ammunition that are unused, inherited or illegal, without the fear of being charged for having them.

Guns weapons amnesty

Weapons previously turned in by the public.

During this amnesty, the police encourage people to turn in illegally held guns and ammunition and any other unwanted firearms, imitation firearms and air guns. In addition, any weapon that may pose a threat to public safety such as switchblades, butterfly knives, pepper spray, nunchuks, shurikens, push daggers, knife-combs, crossbows, spiked wristbands, batons and/or blowguns.

There is a dedicated telephone line available to arrange a firearm or weapon pick up. (905) 465-8733 will be monitored from Monday to Saturday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm during the ten days.




Officers assigned to pick up the weapons will provide police identification and will require a signature for destruction.

This Amnesty is an opportunity for everyone to take part in removing these firearms and weapons from the community, reducing the risk of them falling into the hands of criminals.

Last year, approximately 180 firearms were turned in, about 40 knives and 200 pounds of ammunition.

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Community garden applications to be available on November 2nd - closing date is November 22nd. Lottery draw will decide who gets a space.

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 26, 2015


Shucks – they aren’t advertising the seed catalog offerings yet are they?

The city however is ready to accept applications to secure a garden plot in 2016 at one of the city’s three community gardens starting November 2 through to the 22nd, 2015.

Rob Peachey

Rob Peachey says he is excited.

Rob Peachey, the city’s manager of parks and open spaces, who doesn’t get excited very often said today that the city is entering the “fifth growing season with the community gardens program,” and he is “excited”.

Peachey overseas the Windows on the Lake program for the city. It isn’t a part of his job that brings smiles to his face.

The city is accepting the applications a bit earlier than in past years, to give gardeners more time over the winter months to plan and prepare their gardens for the spring.”

Bennett M in church garden

This lady knows what a difference a community garden can make. Michelle Bennett was one of the people who taught city hall ho yo go after provincial money and get community gardens in place. she started with one – there are now three.

Located at Amherst Park, Central Park and Francis Road Bikeway, the community gardens are open for planting from May 1 to Oct. 23, 2016. There are a total of 80 plots available, plus six raised, accessible plots suitable for persons with disabilities. Applicants may indicate a preferred garden location and plot style on the application.

The cost to rent a plot for the season is $50. Water, soil and compost are supplied and all plots have full sun. Plots will be allocated by lottery at the close of the application period, and all applicants will be notified of their lottery result by early December 2015.

Community garden application forms will be available online beginning November 2 at community centres, the Seniors’ Centre, or City Hall, 426 Brant St., at the Service Burlington counter. Completed applications must be received by the city no later than Nov. 22, 2015.

For more information about Burlington community gardens, visit

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Project approved in 1985 sees a construction crew on site to bury hydro wires.

notices100x100By Staff

October 26, 2015

It begins.

Not quite the shovels in the ground with the photo op and the silver spade – this is just getting hydro wires in the ground. The rest will begin in the New Year

Bridgewater from lake on the east

It was a dream back in 1985 when the city approved a legacy building on the edge of the lake. The burying of hydro lines marks the beginning of real construction. Occupancy is scheduled for 2018.

The Bridgewater development that will consist of a 22 storey condominium, an eight story hotel and a second seven story condominium commences.

The first phase of construction will include the burial of hydro lines. This work is expected to take approximately 10 weeks. During the construction, there will be some minor lane disruptions and a one-day closure of the intersection at Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road (The Gazette will keep you posted on details.) All businesses in the immediate area will remain open for business as usual.

As part of the construction, the section of Elizabeth Street, south of Lakeshore Road, will be closed until November 2018. Access to the Waterfront Hotel is available through the north driveway.

For more information, please contact Carol Gulak, Capital Works, City of Burlington at 905-335-7600, ext. 7772 or

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Run jump play: city gets behind a three year initiative to get young people outside playing.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 22, 2015


Run, Jump, Play – every day. That’s the drill and Burlington got it off to a decent start with children and some staff skipping and twisting with hula hoops outside city hall as the Healthy community initiative got kick started.

The Healthy Community initiative involves the school boards, community groups including Community Development Halton and staff from the Parks and Recreation department and the YMCA.

Hula hooper - Run jump play

Hip swiveling and chalking are the recreational tools that will be used during the first phase of the three year Healthy Community initiative being funded by the province to the tune of $1.1 million

The funding comes from the provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term Care that wants to get kids to those under 12’s that spend more time in front of some kind of screen and get them outdoors.

The program is a three year effort to get children outside and away from the screens – television and computers.

One of the school board trustees recently advised her colleagues that more than 2400 requests for courtesy space on school buses has been requested by students who would not normally be within the area where school bus transportation is provided.

Beard - hoola hoope - run jump play

City hall staff show how its done with Hula hoops – the expectation is that they can get these things out into the community and have children under 12 swiveling their hips.

There was a time when there was more phys- ed in schools – Stuart Miller, Director of Education explained that liability issues have made it difficult to provide the kind of physical education classes that used to be held. You don’t see ropes for kids to climb in the schools anymore; there are no more wall bars either he added.

Miller did say that students must get 20 minutes of exercise each day and that there are physical education classes – but it doesn’t look as if society is looking to the schools to ensure that children get the exercise they need in an educational setting.

That task has been taken up by the province and shifted to the city who in turn look to Community Development Halton who know where the pockets of the population who are not on good healthy diets and who don’t have the money to buy the equipment to play hockey or football live; those communities where running shoe’s come in at over $150 a pair are not in the household budget in the marginalized communities in the city.

Does this mean that Run Jump Play is for a particular sector of this city’s population?  Difficult to say at this point – the maps outlining where Community Development Halton is going to focus their work have not yet been completed.

The program is a three year initiative with $1.1 million of funding in place.  The intention is to collect a lot of data to determine how much weight can be lost with this kind of program.

Goldring + Tina 4 run jump play

Mayor Goldring showing the four year old daughter of a city hall staffer how well he draws with chalk

This kind of program was used in France where the results were reported to be very positive.  Measuring  Body Mass Index (BMI) changes is seen as a simple way to determine if there has been a change.

It is a positive program and it got off to a good start.  The Mayor didn’t twist and turn with a hula hoop around his waist  instead he drew with a piece of chalk – this after saying at the opening of his wife’s art gallery earlier in the week that he was so bad at art that his teacher gave him a 50 mark and suggested he leave the program.

Related article:

City gets $1.1 million in funding for health initiative.

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Region announces flu shot clinic dates for Burlington

element_healthservicesBy Staff

October 22, 2015


The Halton Region Health Department has started the influenza (flu) immunization clinics for the 2015-2016 flu season with community influenza clinics for all residents aged six months and older beginning this week. Flu immunizations are also available at many pharmacies (for those aged five years and older), as well as in doctors’ offices, walk-in clinics and at some workplaces.

Getting the flu vaccine every year is the most important way to protect against the flu. It also helps to prevent the spread of the virus to those who are vulnerable to complications of the flu. The flu immunization is recommended for all those six months of age and older.

Most healthy people recover from the flu within a few days; however, influenza infection can lead to pneumonia and hospitalization, and can even be fatal, especially in the elderly, those under five years of age and those with certain chronic health conditions.

Caucasian woman washing her hands

Washing your hands frequently when you are not well prevents the communication of viruses.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday precautions against influenza by washing your hands with soap frequently, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (when soap and water is not available) and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

If you are sick, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading your illness to others and see your doctor if your illness worsens or doesn’t begin to improve after a few days.

Clinic dates for Burlington are:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 Burlington Seniors’ Centre 2285 New Street 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Monday, October 26, 2015 L.B. Pearson High School 1433 Headon Road 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Robert Bateman High School 5151 New Street 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
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Fire department given 500 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to hand out.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 19, 2015


Union Gas handed over 500 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to the Burlington Fire department at a meeting at the Seniors Centre on the weekend. It is part of Project Zero, a public education campaign that provides combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to residents with the goal of reducing the number of residential fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths to zero.

The alarms were handed out at the seniors event, they were “won”  through answering fire safety trivia questions.

Tony Bavota - fire chief

Fire Chief Tony Bavota.

The few remaining alarms will be given to seniors registered in the fire department  alarm assistance program, which helps those who are isolated and/or have disabilities or mobility challenges, which make it difficult to install and maintain their home smoke and co alarms.

Union Gas utility services manager, Marc Hoewing visited the Burlington Seniors’ Centre yesterday to present Burlington fire chief, Tony Bavota with the alarms.

“At Union Gas, the safety of our employees and our communities is our most important core company value,” said Hoewing. “And we share that commitment by supporting much-needed programs like Project Zero that helps us all stay safer.”

They work - but only if they have fresh batteries.

They work – but only if they have fresh batteries.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless toxic gas that is often referred to as the “silent killer.” Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness, without the elevated temperature associated with the flu. In severe cases, CO poisoning can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to CO. Over 80 per cent of carbon monoxide-related deaths and injuries in Ontario occur in the home.

Fire Chief Tony Bavota said at the meeting that “Working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms save lives,” said Bavota, “Offering them to some of the seniors in our community will help to keep them safe in their homes.”

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Public school board wants significant public input on the direction it takes with French immersion classes.

News 100 blueBy Walter Byj

October 20, 2015


Let me begin with the following two paragraphs from a June article I wrote:

“For some it is a grand success story while others view it as an experiment that has created a mess. Either way, it has created a logistics nightmare for boards across the province as educators try to run both a successful English program along with a strong French Immersion program. School busing, disruption of community schools, huge uptake in French Immersion and a shortage on competent French teachers in Ontario is forcing many boards to review their current implementation of French Immersion.

Richelle Papin - hand to chin

Burlington school board trustee Richelle Papin was a member of the Program Viability Committee

“In Halton, the board recently created the Program Viability Committee (PVC) whose goal was to do a thorough review of the challenges that French Immersion has placed on the English program and to then propose a number of solutions that could alleviate any current problems. The committee, which consists of 22 members, includes the Director of Education, board superintendents, schools principals and three trustees. The trustees are J. Oliver (Oakville, K. Graves (Milton) and R. Papin (Burlington). “

After a number of committee meetings, committee chair and Director of Education, Stuart Miller gave the board his report with his recommendations on September 16th

Be it resolved that the Halton District School Board present the following options for the delivery of French Immersion to the public in the Fall of 2015 for the purpose of receiving feedback, considerations and comments. Feedback will be brought to the Board for consideration in the delivery of French Immersion programming:

1. Option 1: Grade 1 (early) French immersion remains a 50% French 50% English delivery model, but entry to French Immersion will be capped. The method of capping would be determined at a later date.

2. Option 2: Grade 1 (early) French Immersion remains at 50% French and 50% English, however all French Immersion programs will be delivered in single track FI schools. French Immersion will be phased out of dual track schools and no new dual track schools will be considered. The location of the single track schools will be determined at a later date.

3. Option 3: French Immersion will commence at a later entry point (mid entry); Grade 4. This will result in the delivery model of French Immersion moving from a 50% model to at least a 80% French Immersion model. In addition the delivery of French Immersion will occur in dual track schools only.

4. Option 4: French Immersion will commence at a later entry point (mid entry); Grade 4. This will result in the delivery model of French Immersion moving from a 50% model to at least a 80% French Immersion model. In addition the delivery of French Immersion will occur in single track French Immersion schools only.

Stuart Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller moves forward with the first initiative that has his fingerprints all over it – the public will get to see what he means by public engagement and how well he listens.

After a thorough discussion, these recommendations were accepted unanimously by the trustees at the October 7th meeting with the understanding that the board would do everything they could to ensure the public thoroughly understand the current situation and be highly involved in any future solution.

Fully understanding the scope of this project, along with the potential ramifications on the public, Director Miller, with the encouragement of the trustees, emphasized that intensive input and ideas from the public would be required before any changes could be made.

He said the options presented are just a starting point and other alternatives would be studied. All information that the staff has would be shared with the public so that they would have a solid understanding of the challenges that the board currently faces.

There will be no pre-determined decisions as input from the public will play a major role in the final decision. Much time was spent discussing the different ways the public could be included in the process. Director Miller mentioned the use of social media and focus groups as some of the methods.

However, the first step will be face to face public meetings on the following dates:

Milla Pickfield is a Nelson High graduate - understanding the proceedings of the school board was not something high school prepared her for.

All meetings will begin at 7 p.m.:
BURLINGTON: Monday, October 26 Nelson High School (4181 New St.)
OAKVILLE: Tuesday, October 27 White Oaks Secondary School (South Campus 1330 Montclair Dr.)
MILTON: Monday, November 2 Milton District High School ( 396 Williams Ave)
HALTON HILLS: Tuesday, November 3 Georgetown District High School (70 Guelph St)

After some prodding from the trustees, Director Miller said he would be open to have a fifth meeting if necessary.

Parents can attend any or all of the above meetings; they are not restricted by the city/town they live in.

The first major test will be the crowd at the Burlington meeting; it could be a barometer as to how well the board is reaching the public.

Walter ByjWalter Byj has been the Gazette reporter on education for more than a year. He is a long-time resident of the city and as a parent has in the past delegated to the school board.

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Election date - make it count.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 19th, 2015


There is just one per person and the price paid to make this available to you was measured in lives – so use it wisely – and be sure to use it.

Today is Election Day across the country. The polls open at 9:30 am and close at 9:00 pm

Voting ballot box

If you don’t know where to vote and need some help you can call any of the political party election offices or the Burlington Returning Office.

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City managers work plan has depth and detail - is it too ambitious?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 16, 2015


Let’s dig a little deeper into the Work Plan city manager James Ridge presented to a Standing Committee earlier this week.

James Ridge Day 1

City Manager James Ridge

Ridge set his intentions out into groups, just the way any Army captain would and then delved into the groupings and what Ridge hoped to get done. We have added a few comments to expand on the tasks. which were:

City Strategic Plan: While many many months late Council and staff are now meeting to nail this down and move on to the Official Plan Review and the city budget.

Official Plan: On hold until the Strategic Plan has been struck. With a new planner due to start in November there may be a little lag time while she figures out what is where at city hall and gets to know her staff.

Transportation Master Plan: A work in progress

Corporate/ SMT Work Plan: 12-24 month detailed work plan addressing all Strategic and Official Plan work items. Develop master SMT work plan to deliver strategic objectives.
Each Director, General Manager and Service Owner to have a personal work plan, which will be a central element of their ongoing performance evaluation


How will citizens take to multi year strategic budgets?

Multi-Year Strategic Plan budget: Ensure that high level budgeting is undertaken to accompany the Strategic Plan and supporting multi-year work plan to guide priority setting and annual budget discussions. Multi-year budget projections for implementation of the Strategic and Official Plans and associated Work Plans.
The city’s finance department is probably the best run shop in the city – they don’t need to be told what to do – they do need other departments to work as efficiently and as effectively as the Joan Ford crew works.

City Manager Work Plan: Set out in detail below.
Work Plan management and reporting systems


Ridge wasn’t able to say much about initiatives – other than he thought there might be as many as 50 of them.

City Performance Indicators: Working with BEDC, Burlington Community Foundation and others, develop a macro set of performance measures that taken together are a reasonable proxy for the general wellbeing of the City. A clear set of key performance measures to measure the health, quality of life, and economic performance of the City tracked longitudinally.

Some very good data was released at a Standing Committee meeting earlier in the week. The Gazette is pulling that information together and will publish later this month – you won’t see this data anywhere else.

Workshop on Excellence in Strategic Governance: To support Strategic Plan implementation, have a facilitated workshop(s) to consider strategic governance principles and the appropriate governance/management relationship needed for successful implementation of the strategic plan.
Strategic governance workshop with Council and appropriate senior staff, to develop general principles of strategic governance and management.

Excellence in Governance Charter: City Council is widely seen as an exemplar of excellence in strategic governance. Develop with Council an “Excellence in Governance Charter.” Adopt as Council policy a series of best practices and decision tools that reflect accepted best practices in strategic governance for public and private sector organizations.

Watch this one carefully – it looks as if it might be what gets put in place of the Code of Conduct that most of this council does not want. The Code of Conduct is something this council needs and the public deserves.


Councillor John Taylor wants better agenda and council meeting planning – dislikes the way Clerk’s office manages the flow of paper – city manager wants to get rid of the paper.

Agenda Planning: Through regular reviews of the City Manager’s work plan, allow for better longer and medium term agenda planning. Several members of Council have complained about poor agenda planning and want material they are to discuss earlier in the process. When the calendar for 2016 was being discussed Councillor Dennison suggested a number of changes which the Clerk’s office wasn’t happy with. Mayor Goldring brought this up giving the Clerk an opportunity to explain what the problems were. Dennison wanted to know why he had not heard of the Clerk’s concerns. Now we know why there are problems with agenda planning – these people don’t talk to each other.

Council Agendas: Structure Council agendas to clearly identify strategic and good-governance agenda items. A proposal for a new model for Committee and Council agendas. Set for 2Q of 2016. Don’t bet the barn on that date.

Customer Service
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tool
One Stop Business Startup Centre
Service Management
Enterprise Risk Management
Enterprise Performance Measurement

Business Analytics Capability/Research and Data analysis: If possible, fast track the implementation of a business analytics tool to permit robust data analysis. As an interim measure, create a temporary new role to do data analysis, quantitative research, and coordinate surveys.

A suite of applications, tools and process that when implemented and operational support performance measurement, data analytics and corporate reporting.

One position (perhaps .5 FTE) to undertake quantitative analysis and detailed data analysis in support of Council and corporate initiatives.

During a presentation made by former Director of Planning Bruce Krushelnicki we learned that the city has absolutely no demographic capacity and that there is some statistical capacity but the person doing the job could not tell a Director how many homes there are in Alton Village. That staffer is apparently still cashing a pay cheque.

Revenue and Grant Coordinator: Create a role with an explicit focus, and dedicated time, to undertake grant requests, stay abreast of new funding opportunities, and seek other revenue opportunities. Create a new (likely .5 FTE position) in the City Manager’s office to coordinate City grant applications, research new and existing funding opportunities, and consider other municipal revenue opportunities.

This is the second mention of additional staff – Councillor Craven won’t let this happen – but Councillor Sharman might like to see someone who can gather data

Document Management: Multi-year project to reduce or eliminate use of paper, provide better access to information, and more transparent public access. First phase should be paperless meeting materials for those who wish to use. Paperless SMT meetings. Full transition is a major multi-year project.

City Marketing Cooperative: Explore the possibility of a marketing cooperative to share expertise and resources among City departments and City- funded agencies and boards. If agreement is reached among the parties, create a marketing cooperative to share expertise and mitigate duplication in marketing, print, web support activities.
This is one of those initiatives that is better not even attempted – bureaucrats are not marketers – this should be outsourced to a company that is given a strong, clear mandate.

Three VIA employees,all engineers in the diesel pulling the train were killed in the accident.  Train is being righted for removal.

Burlington didn’t lead the way it could have led during the Via derailment a number of years ago – the city now how seasoned Emergency Management in place

Emergency Management: Fully implement an emergency management plan, appropriate training, and develop and maintain business continuity plans.

This task is well underway – the Fire department brought in a season manager who explained what the department will be doing and how it will work – it is a very significant improvement over procedures that were in place previously.

Build Redevelopment Capacity in Planning Building and other relevant Departments: Evolve through hiring, professional development and resource allocation the Planning and Building department’s expertise and capacity from greenfield single family to infill and intensification.

Land Economist: Strengthen our planning and real estate management capability by tendering for a retainer for a municipal land economist to provide expert arms-length advice to City staff and Council on land economic issues, particularly independent assessments of development applications and the embedded assumptions around profitability at various densities and uses.


Marie Ann Coulson

Members of the team that run the finance department during a budget debate – they were updating data on the fly

People Plan Team: There is a general need for a team of union and non-union staff from across the City to focus on and make recommendations about, workplace quality and cultural concerns.

Culture Survey: In Q1 2016 undertake the Dennison survey of organizational culture as a baseline.

Performance Evaluation System: Develop a new Performance Evaluation system. Fully implemented new PE system that is modular, with elements for individual contributors, service owners, and Directors. Ridge wants this to be 100% use. He sees this as quarterly structured but less formal conversations with staff on performance, not a once a year report

Succession Planning: Create a corporate succession plan and succession planning policies. Initial identification of high potential management staff for detailed career planning. Initial identification of high potential front line staff with leadership potential for detailed career planning.

Succession plans complete for all departments. Corporate policies in place. SMT has created a list of high potential middle managers for immediate development


Storm Water Management: Implement the Council-approved program on expanded storm water management.
This program is going to have a very significant impact on the 2016 budget and will stun the owners of properties that have large parking areas. The city has done a very poor job of informing both residents and commercial property owners on the ramifications – they are significant.

Asset Management – Infrastructure Renewal

Conversion Reviews: In the context of the Official Plan review, develop (with BEDC) mechanisms to defensibly and consistently make recommendations on conversion requests.

Once the Strategic Plan is in place this will become a major matter for this Council. The development community does not believe the city needs all the Employment Land it has – and they want the opportunity to convert those lands to residential where the profits are much higher.

Zoned commercial, spitting distance to the QEW, minutes from downtown - owner wants to rezone and make it residential.

Zoned commercial, spitting distance to the QEW, minutes from downtown – owner wants to rezone and make it residential.

Major developers in this city have been sitting on land holdings for year – decades in some cases – waiting for the day when they can get a conversion. The province does not make it easy for any conversions to take place – but the developers have skilled planners who can make a donut look like a life saver.

Beachway Park: Negotiate with the Region cost sharing for Beachway Park, both Capital and Operating.

Sustainable Development Awards

Urban Design Review and Awards

Government Relations
Policies and Process: With the Mayor’s Office and Council develop formal policies, procedures for ongoing intergovernmental relations activities. Identify the first inventory of key intergovernmental issues and action plans.

This has always been a particularly weak area for this city administration. Having city managers move in and out of that office every two years didn’t help to develop strong working relationships. The city did hold a Burlington Day at Queen’s Park which amounted to everyone handing out business cards and getting 15 minutes with Ministers and some Deputy Ministers.

Burlington didn’t have a very effective MPP at the time which made it difficult to achieve very much.

The failure of the IKEA move to the North Service Road was due in no small measure to the lack of a deep understanding of how the Ministry of Transportation really works. The lead people on that file had not been properly mentored on how a city deals with a provincial ministry.

Redevelopment processes: Develop with Halton Region, a seamless process with known timelines for redevelopment applications. Done by 1Q 2017

LaSalle Pacillion

Our Building – on Hamilton’s land.

LaSalle Park: Reach agreement and Council approval on the transfer of LaSalle park ownership to Burlington by 1Q 2017
Community Engagement: Continue and build on the work that has been done on community engagement, support the Engagement Charter

New Resident Outreach: The City administration takes steps to proactively reach out to and engage communities, including immigrants, who have a very low incidence of engaging with City

Partnerships. The city wants a tighter working relationship with Hamilton where there is real economic growth; it also wants to strengthen the relationship with the Region.

This is most of what city manager James Ridge put before city council. In a separate article we report on how council reacted

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Highly rated child psychiatrist to speak to educators and parents about raising children in a wired world.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 15th, 2015


Better late than never – I suppose.

The Halton District School Board’s Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) announced that they are hosting the 8th Annual Conference for Parents on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville. The theme of the conference, held from 8 a.m. – 2:15 p.m., will be Building Healthy Relationships.

jean-clintonThe keynote speaker is Dr. Jean Clinton, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, division of Child Psychiatry. She will share how parent involvement is critical for student success through the power of relationships, as children and young people learn best in an environment where they feel respected and connected. She will attempt to answer the question, what role do we play as parents in this? Clinton will discuss how parents, in a busy wired-up world, can maintain a focus on relationships.

Parents can also choose to attend an afternoon presentation by Paul Davis, who will address the topic of social networking safety.

The Building Healthy Relationships conference theme will provide a variety of new workshops and will also include some that have been well received by parents in years past. Workshops will address numeracy, literacy, teaching kids about money management, promoting positive mental health for teens, community resources availability, helping students craft an academic and career pathway for success, high school course selections, managing behaviour and discipline, violence prevention and cyberbullying, and gifted learning.

The Halton District School Board Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) recognizes parents play a vital role in the development and education of their children and in the success of schools and therefore provides a regular opportunity for School Council members to network, share ideas, offer input and enjoy informative presentations on a number of education related topics throughout the school year.

For more information, visit and click on the PIC logo on the right side of the homepage.

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Police holding their second firearms amnesty - they took 180 weapons off the streets during the first amnesty.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 15th, 2015


Have the Regional Police come to the conclusion that if the public hasn’t used their weapons to shoot all the politicians before they elect one of them to the House of Commons – then perhaps another gun amnesty is due – to get the weapons off the streets.

The Halton Regional Police Service will be hosting its second regional Firearms and Weapons Amnesty from October 19 to October 29, 2015.

The public is  being  encouraged to surrender their unregistered or unwanted firearms and weapons to the Halton Regional Police.

Guns weapons amnestyThis amnesty is an opportunity for members of the community to hand in firearms and/or weapons and ammunition that are unused, inherited or illegal, without the fear of being charged for having them.

The Halton Regional Police Service aims to create a safer community by removing these firearms and weapons from locations such as homes, businesses and schools to prevent their use in violent crimes.

Currently, in Ontario there are over 500,000 citizens who hold valid Possession Licenses (POL) and Possession and Acquisition licenses (PAL).

There are over 300,000 restricted and prohibited firearms registered in Ontario, not including non-restricted firearms (long guns).
In some circumstances, POL and PAL licensees no longer wish to keep their firearms due to age, ability and residential location. POL and PAL holders often omit or forget to renew their license and/or are deceased, leaving the firearms unregistered or in the possession of unlicensed family members. This amnesty is an opportunity to have the police come and safely take these weapons away.

During this amnesty, the police encourage people to turn in illegally held guns and ammunition and any other unwanted firearms, imitation firearms and air guns. In addition, any weapon that may pose a threat to public safety such as switchblades, butterfly knives, pepper spray, nunchuks, shurikens, push daggers, knife-combs, crossbows, spiked wristbands, batons and/or blowguns.

Between October 19 and October 26, a dedicated telephone line will be available to arrange a firearm or weapon pick up. (905) 465-8733 will be monitored from Monday to Saturday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm during the ten days.




Officers assigned to pick up the weapons will provide police identification and will require a signature for destruction.

This Amnesty is an opportunity for everyone to take part in removing these firearms and weapons from the community, reducing the risk of them falling into the hands of criminals.

Last year, approximately 180 firearms were turned in, about 40 knives and 200 pounds of ammunition.

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Royal Botanical Gardens shifts its hours of operation - a little quieter these days

notices100x100By Staff

October 13, 2015


The autumn hours of operation at the Royal Botanical Gardens have changed.

RBG gardens - lots of colour

Autumn ours have changed at the RBG

RBG Centre will be open 10am through 5pm daily.

– The Hendrie Park/Rose Garden kiosk is now closed for the season. Weather permitting, access to Hendrie Park is available through the RBG Centre entrance.

– Laking Garden kiosk is now closed for the season.

– Extended hours will begin again November 14th for Holiday Traditions.

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Open House for the three year old set as they gear up for JK and the beginning of a thirteen year journey.

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 13, 2015


The Halton District School Board has created a program to ease children into the school system.

Kindergarten classroom trashed when punks break in. When caught, and they will eventually get caught, a Judge might find a tougher school for them

Mohawk Public school will host an OPEN House for those starting school next year. Bit of a drive for those who live in Alton and Aldershot isn’t it?

They will be holding five Kindergarten Open Houses for the three year old set to to learn more about starting school.
In Burlington the big day is December 3rd with Mohawk Gardens Public school (5280 Spruce Ave) serving as hosts. The event will take place between 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Students and parents will:

• Explore a Kindergarten classroom
• Learn about play-based learning
• Pick up information and resource material in a free backpack
• Access information about community agencies and resources in Halton
• Get information about before and after school care
• Ask questions about special education

There are apparently no “loot bags” unless a back pack falls into that category.

Children born in 2012 can start Kindergarten in September 2016. Registration for Kindergarten begins in January 2016 and takes place at the school your child will attend.

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Announcement of a city planner is thought to be coming soon. New head of Human Resources recently appointed; that job wasn't posted.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 13, 2015


Is the city going to hire a new Planner soon?

Burlington parted ways with Bruce Krushelnicki June 1st; the city has been without a planner ever since.
If Burlington really is the best mid-sized city in the country – would there not have been a lineup outside the Human Resources department of planners holding their resumes in their hands?

Apparently not – but there is a planner coming our way – expect an announcement soon soon.

And expect a bit of a surprise as well.

Male Roy

Roy Male – now playing gold full time.

With a Planner about to be announced – some comment should be made on the retirement of Roy Male, Executive Director of Human Resources since Moses parted the waters of the Jordan River.

Male appears to have decided that there was still time for some golf – and he wasn’t wrong on that issue – he did make some mistakes on the hires he made but he was a consistent advocate for attracting smart young people to the municipal sector.

Laura Boyd has been appointed to replace Roy Male. There are those at city hall who frown on appointments – and think every job opportunity should be posted.

We may be reading more about Boyd – she recently filled in for the City Manager at a meeting of Council.

Nice to see an improvement in the gender balance – it isn’t going to stop at Human Resources.

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The installation of free WiFi at Millcroft Park to begin next week.


October 9, 2015


Beginning October  13, construction will begin in Millcroft Park to install free Cogeco Wi-Fi.

The construction and installation of equipment is expected to take four to five weeks.

The free Wi-Fi is a pilot test with Cogeco Cable to provide free internet access within certain areas of the park. Most of the city’s arenas, city hall and recreation and community centres already have free Wi-Fi access.

The park will remain open during construction.

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Region sets up on line immunization reporting service.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 7, 2015


The Regional Health office is making it easier for parents to advise the health office that their children have been properly immunized.

The online immunization reporting form makes it more convenient way to report required immunizations. The form is available at
While the majority of families in Halton Region immunize their children to protect their health, many are unaware of their legal requirement to notify the Halton Region Health Department about any required immunizations their children have, especially those the province requires for school attendance.
Parents can update their child’s immunization records by going online at, dialing 311 or dropping off an up-to-date record at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville.

flu-shot child

Advising the regional health office that your child has been properly immunized is a requirement. That can now be done on line.

“Halton Region’s Health Department is responsible for enforcing the provincial Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), which outlines the immunizations students need to attend classes, in order to keep our schools and students healthy,” said Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani. “Since students without up-to-date immunization records can face school suspension, it’s critical that parents make sure the Halton Region Health Department has their child’s most recent immunization records on file.”

Immunizations are available through family doctors or at one of Halton Region’s immunization clinics. If children are unable to get immunized, they must have a notarized exemption on file with the Health Department in order to meet school attendance requirements.

To learn more about which immunizations are required to attend school and how to report immunizations, please visit

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