News & Updates from Cathy & Ray
As 2021 begins, we find ourselves with renewed optimism for a better year ahead.

The pandemic that has ravaged our country and our lives still rages around us, but we see the glimmering light of triumph before us. While we must continue to fight hard and not lower our guard against Covid-19, we know there are vaccines that will eventually help us overcome the disease.

Oakville is full of strong, resilient people. Now is the time to show our strength and commitment to each other by adhering to the steps we need to take to ensure we stop Covid-19 in its path.
We hope the news we're bringing you today will be both interesting and helpful. Information on the pandemic and programs surrounding it continues to change rapidly. We encourage you to continue to consult reliable information sources when seeking answers to your questions. There are helpful links at the end of this newsletter.

Our distribution list is always growing, so feel free to forward this newsletter to friends and neighbours if they aren't already receiving it.

Best Wishes,

Cathy & Ray
Development News
Location: Northeast corner of Garden Drive and Lakeshore Road West.

The proposed redevelopment requests an Official Plan Amendment and a Zoning By-law Amendment to permit a 4-storey Retirement Home with:
  • accessory indoor and outdoor amenity terrace level on the roof
  • at grade commercial and underground parking.
  • 132 units (100 independent supportive living and 32 assisted living

Additional information and details are available on the Oakville.ca web site at: https://www.oakville.ca/business/da-36835.html
Virtual Public Meeting
Residents are invited to attend a virtual Public Information Meeting hosted by Revera and Smart Centres on January 11,2021. The meeting will be held by videoconference only from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A presentation will be given at the beginning of the meeting and will be followed by a question and answer period.

To join the meeting on January 11, visit:

You can also participate via telephone by calling 1-855-703-8985 (Toll Free) and use the meeting ID: 833 8251 6466. Dial the Passcode: 403322

As noted above, this meeting is an information session hosted by the applicant. It is not a meeting of Council. Those meetings will take place later.
Vaccine Update
To date, two vaccines have been approved by Health Canada. The Pfizer-BioN Tech vaccine was approved on December 9, 2020, followed by the Moderna vaccine on December 23rd. Two additional vaccines, one from AstraZeneca and another Janssen Inc are currently moving through the Health Canada review process.

In Halton, a three-phase plan to administer vaccines has been put in place. The plan follows the overall provincial strategy that will see health care workers and essential care givers be given vaccines first. Locally, this work is being undertaken through Halton Healthcare. These initial doses will be followed by further roll-outs to expanded groups of health care workers and essential caregivers as well as long term care residents, retirement home residents, First Nation communities, etc. As additional supplies of vaccine become available coverage will be expanded to all remaining members of the groups in phase 1, additional congregate care settings and adults over 70. The final phase will see vaccines administered to the remaining public at large.

As we know, distribution of vaccines by the Provincial government has been spotty and behind schedule. We are all hopeful that these conditions improve considerably in the weeks to come. We also expect that as the supply of vaccines becomes more regular, changes or expansions to the groups named above will occur. The best strategy is to check our local Halton.ca website for updated information. In the meantime, we all need to step up our safety measures in preventing the spread of the virus.

For those who are interested in tracking vaccine development information, the CBC has created a detailed and informative online Vaccine Tracker. As well as listing the dozens of vaccines currently in testing, it explains the types of vaccines in development and how they target the Covid virus.
Shop Local. We All Win
We all know how easy it is to choose a big box mega supplier with overnight shipping when we're making an online purchase. Taking a little extra time to check out local sources and buying from businesses that are close to home has benefits for all of us.

When you shop local...
  • more of your money stays in the local economy
  • you help create local jobs
  • you help the environment
  • you nurture our community
  • you build personal relationships with shop owners and small business operators.
Let's make a point to take the time to check out local shops, restaurants and services to see what they have on offer. Many offer curbside service, personal delivery and much more. It's a win/win for us all.
Hydro Line Clearing ... What You Need to Know
Beginning in January, Oakville's Forestry section and its tree service contractor will perform hydro line clearing within Ward 2 on behalf of Oakville Hydro. The area of operation will extend from Sixteen Mile Creek in the east to Fourth Line and Westdale Road in the west. Other boundaries are the QEW in the north and Lake Ontario in the south.

Trees are pruned to ensure safe clearance around hydro lines and to minimize safety hazards and power outages.

In some instances, the town’s contractor must prune trees on private property if they are growing too close to hydro lines. In rare cases, a tree may be removed if the arborist cannot achieve the clearance standard with acceptable pruning practices. When a private tree is identified as needing pruning or removal, tree inspectors will speak directly with the residents who are at home at the time of inspection or leave a door hanger behind with details and contact information if no one is at home.

When hydro lines are located in rear yards, the arborist has access to the tree through the Oakville Hydro easement that runs through the property.
Overall Tax Rate Increases 1.63%

In December, Town Council approved the 2021 operating budget of $348.3 million and capital budget of $80.9 million. The combined operating and capital budgets results in a 2.29 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill, for an overall property tax increase of 1.63 per cent when combined with the estimated regional and educational tax levies.

The 1.63 per cent increase would see residential property taxes increase by $11.57 per $100,000 of assessment meaning that the owner of a home assessed at $800,000 would pay an additional $92.59 per year or $1.78 per week.

To help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, Council approved one-time budget reductions of approximately $10 million. The budget reductions are a temporary move in light of the service delivery constraints expected in 2021 as a result of the ongoing pandemic. In addition, in order to meet Council’s direction to keep the overall tax increase in line with inflation, a transfer from the Tax Stabilization reserve of $3.4 million has been used.

The Town of Oakville provides Senior/older adult rebate and tax deferral programs to those who qualify. Follow this link for further information.
Property Tax FAQ
Question: Why do you say my taxes will increase by 1.6%, but when I compare them to what I paid last year, I actually end up paying more?

Answer: Ontario's Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) conducts a province-wide Assessment Update every four years to update the assessed value of every property in Ontario. This is in keeping with the "fair market value" method of tax assessment used in Ontario.

When your assessed property value is higher than it was in the previous valuation, the new value is phased-in gradually over four years in order to. For example, if your property increased in assessed value by $66,000, the value of your property will increase by $16,500 each year for 4 years. Therefore, you will pay tax on a property valuation of an additional $16,500 each year. If the municipal property tax did not increase in any of those four years, you would still pay a higher amount each year because you are paying tax on a higher valuation due to the phase-in process.

Ambulance Donation
In mid December, Halton Region donated a decommissioned ambulance to the Kenora Chiefs Advisory to support COVID-19 assessment and testing in First Nations communities in northwestern Ontario.

The Kenora Chiefs Advisory provides programs in health, education and social services that are delivered holistically and traditionally to ensure the survival of the Anishinaabe way in present and future generations. They provide services to individuals and families in 10 Kenora area First Nations communities.

Decommissioned ambulance vehicles donated by Halton Region are typically five years in age and have travelled between 225,000 and 275,000 kilometres. These vehicles have completed their useful life cycle with Halton Region’s Paramedic Services but can still operate at full capacity. In past, other ambulances have been donated to local St. John Ambulance branches, and to various charities for use in Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, South Sudan and Ukraine.
Prior to being sent on its way to the Kenora Chiefs Advisory, Eddy Robinson, Halton’s Indigenous Advisor, and Stephen Paquette, Local Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, provided the ambulance with a blessing and a traditional gift offering of semah (ceremonial tied tobacco).
ABC's of Snow Clearing
To report a snow related concern, please call ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601 during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

You can also get 24-hour information by calling the town's snow clearing information line at 905-815-5999
When there's a snow event, primary and secondary roads are cleared during and immediately after a snowfall. That allows emergency services such as police, fire and ambulances to navigate safely.

Ploughs then move on to clear residential areas, but only when the accumulation of snow is in excess of 7.5cm / 3in.

Sidewalks: Sidewalks on primary and secondary roads are cleared only after snow accumulates in excess of 5cm, and only after roads are cleared.

Residential sidewalks are cleared after 8cm of snow accumulates. Sidewalks located on primary and secondary roads with schools are first, followed by residential sidewalks.

Sidewalk salting and sanding is done only on primary and secondary sidewalks when extremely slippery conditions exist.

"News Bites"
You may recall the article in our October newsletter detailing the new Time-of-Use hydro rates that came into effect on November 1. Those rates have changed again. On December 20, 2020 the Ontario government announced an extension of its Pandemic Pricing. From January 1 to 28, 2021, a fixed price of 8.5cents/kWh, no matter the time of day, will be in effect in Ontario. If you have questions or need additional information, visit Oakville Hydro online
The 2021 Waste Collection Calendar was distributed by post to residents in mid December. If one hasn't arrived in your post box, you can make a request for one through Halton Region by dialling 311 or, you can also check your schedule online.

Recycling and the proper disposal of waste is of utmost importance in reducing the stress on our local landfill sites as well as making strides in our fight against climate change. Put Waste in it's Place is a handy online tool that helps you sort waste. If you're unsure about bags, containers and other packaging, simply enter the item in the search bar and the tool will tell you where to dispose of the item. Visit Put Waste in its Place
The east pier at Oakville Harbour is now closed for winter and slated to reopen in April. Those of us looking for a walk or exercise have only to cross the 16-mile creek and enjoy what Tannery Park has to offer. Oakville's Parks and Open Space team advises the promenade walkway through Tannery Park is maintained during winter months, which also offers a lengthy walking route as well as winter biking trails.
Recently, many residents have commented on the increased use of fireworks in local neighbourhoods.

In Oakville, a by-law was put in place several years ago to regulate the use of fireworks. To help remind everyone, we've outlined the highlights below.

Under By-Law 2009-056, no person shall:
  • discharge Family Fireworks except between dusk and 11:00pm on the day of, the day before, or the day after, the following:
i. Victoria Day
ii. Canada Day
iii. New Years Day
iv. Any religious or cultural celebrations where fireworks are used to celebrate the religious or cultural event. 

  • discharge Fireworks in a manner that creates or may create a nuisance or
that creates or may create an unsafe condition, danger from fire or risk
from accident, injury or damage at or in respect of any place, location or
site, or to or in respect of any person, property or thing. 

  • discharge Fireworks onto, in or on any highway, street, lane, square, public park or other public place, unless in accordance with a permit issued for such purpose
"There's Snow Place Like Home" is the name given to Oakville's newest campaign to encourage residents to get outside this winter and enjoy what our town has to offer. There's plenty to do.

Ward Two will be home to a number of outdoor skating rinks this season. With changing weather conditions it's best to check ahead to determine which rinks are in operation and what the requirements are to book times for use. Click here to find a list of outdoor rinks.

Take the kids by the hand and get set to enjoy a Story Walk. Oakville Public Library (OPL) is working with Parks and Open Space to provide fun story-themed self-guided walks along selected trails. You'll follow pages posted along the route to enjoy the tale as it unfolds and you can scan the QR codes for reading recommendations available at your local branch. Story Walks are expected to begin later in January. Check with OPL or at Oakville.ca

Outdoor Pickleball, Snowshoeing, Winter Cycling and Winter Tennis are all activities planned for a host of locations across town and many will depend on temperatures and weather conditions Visit The Winter Recreation Page and scroll down to your favourite event for the latest information.

Finally, make plans to take a stroll along Bronte's Heritage Waterfront Park and enjoy 50 professionally-painted Muskoka chairs that have been installed throughout the district. They're safely spaced for physical distancing, free and available any time until March.
Cathy Duddeck
Regional and Town Councillor
Ray Chisholm
Town Councillor