Ward 2
Community Notice
Lisa Kearns l Councillor l Burlington.ca/Ward2
March 20, 2020
Community and Business Supports Available During COVID-19

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation continues to develop rapidly as we settle into the new normal and routine of our daily lives. In these times, we are fortunate Burlington is a city filled with many generous and caring people - we can always count on each other. Your City Council and City staff are working together for your best interests, health and safety.

The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19 is to:
  • stay home when ill;
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve;
  • wash hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub; and
  • clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

Practice Social Distancing (see image below).
We urge everyone to follow the advice of qualified health care professionals, continue to stay home and wash your hands thoroughly.

Public Telephone Town Hall
Public Telephone Town Hall - Thursday, March 26 at 6:45 p.m.

We know there are a great deal of questions in our community related to health, finances, and supporting those in need. Important information is changing daily, and not everyone in our city has access to channels like television, the internet, and print media. This one-hour town hall will be open to all members of the public and provide an opportunity to hear from a panel of leaders including members of council and senior staff, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and our City Manager, Tim Commisso.

How to Participate
Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall. Residents who would like to be added to the telephone call list can email getinvolved@burlington.ca by the end of day March 25.

Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-280-9610 at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 26 to join the town hall. For those individuals calling in to the town hall, please be advised that more than one attempt may be required to connect to the call due to the high volume of traffic on the phone lines. If your call does not connect you to the town hall on your first try, please hang up and dial the 1-800 number again.

Information about the town hall will also be shared across the city through the City and Mayor’s website and social media channels as well as the Burlington Post.
We ask our residents to help spread the word to their friends and neighbours so that anyone who is interested may participate.

Once the call begins, participants will be provided instructions by a moderator for submitting their questions to the leadership panel.

Any questions that are not answered within the hour-long call will be posted, with answers, to the City’s website at burlington.ca/coronavirus , along with an audio file of the call and a full transcript as soon we can.
Community Supports
Several community groups are forming offering support to those who need it. These are just some of those supports that can help you:

Ontario 211: This is a free helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages. 211 is answered and updated by highly-trained specialists.

You can visit 211.ca or call 211 from your phone with questions related to food, family services, employment, community programs and crisis support.

Local foodbanks : Please consider donating money online to a foodbank. The Burlington Foodbank is an option and to make a donation or to use the foodbank, visit www.burlingtonfoodbank.ca

Halton Region is coordinating with key partners (Food4Life, United Way, local municipalities and others) to develop ways to deliver food and other essentials to individuals/households that are isolating, low income or otherwise vulnerable. The Region is also aware of emergent volunteer groups that would like to help ad are connecting with those groups to support and leverage their capacity. We will continue to stay connected with the Region as information is available.

Burlington Covid Response : A local Facebook group is CareMongering Burlington for Burlington Covid Response www.facebook.com/groups/burlingtoncovidresponse .

This group was created by residents for locals to post and share information on community updates.

Good Neighbour Project – GTA : A Facebook group and a program run by volunteers who have created a volunteer-based task force who are on standby to support the vulnerable in our communities that require delivery assistance for supplies and groceries.
You can volunteer to pick-up supplies or you can request assistance by visiting www.fb.com/groups/goodneighbourproject or calling 647-873-2230.

People needing assistance could be seniors, persons with disabilities, someone (or a family) in self-isolation or a single parent.

Please pass their phone number to anyone you think may need help.

Please ensure you always follow the advice of healthcare experts while supporting others including social distancing, hand washing, and staying home if you are sick.

Blood Donation : Maintaining a blood supply is as important as ever during COVID-19.  If you are eligible and well, please consider donating blood.
Visit myaccount.blood.ca or call 1888 2 Donate
Tax Relief
We know many of our residents and businesses are concerned about their finances. 
At our next Council meeting, Burlington City Council will be considering a temporary change to late payment charges to provide relief for the April 21 property tax installment to help all residents and businesses as a response to financial hardship during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Based on Council’s decision, this temporary change being proposed would mean that for the month of April 2020:

  • No penalty or interest charges will be incurred related to the April 21st installment for all property owners; and
  • No non-sufficient fund (NSF) fee charged by the City for any returned tax payments.

We encourage taxpayers on a pre-authorized payment plan (10-month plan, due date plan and taxpayer defined plan) to continue on these payment plans where possible.
Business Supports
Team Burlington Supporting Businesses : Burlington’s business support organizations (Team Burlington), which includes Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington are taking a coordinated approach in supporting businesses during COVID-19.

A business resource site, found here , has been launched to keep businesses informed about programs, funding opportunities, resources and online services to help ease the stress and uncertainty businesses are currently facing. 

Burlington Economic Development has also set-up a business support phone line to provide businesses with a direct line to staff to answer questions and help make sense of new information coming out from higher levels of government. Businesses can reach out to (289) 337-5505 ext. 102, Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The Burlington Downtown Business Association has posted recent blogs to share with you how to support local businesses or enjoy an at home workout - this is a great resource to keep you connected to our small business community. I encourage you to take a moment to visit the site
Burlington Transit - Free Rides until at least April 5
Burlington Transit will not be collecting ride fares until at least April 5 th . Transit users can now only board and exit the bus from the rear doors. This is to help social distancing between transit riders and transit drivers. Customers with mobility devices can still board and exit through the front doors.  The Downtown Transit Terminal building is closed but Customer service can still be reached at contactbt@burlington.ca , 905-639-0550 or on Twitter @BurlONTransit .
Free Parking Downtown
At this time, it’s so important as a city to focus on essential services, including parking. Keeping visitors and patrons safe while parking in the downtown remains a priority. We recognize our downtown partners require support as many have temporarily closed or modified operations. This initiative to waive daily parking fees can make it easier for people to support downtown businesses when essential items are needed, when picking up online orders or gift cards, or when making food service pick-ups. I am encouraged that offering this relief is one additional way we can show that we are all in this together.
Mental Health Support
Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK) : ROCK is an accredited, multi-service organization providing services to children and youth from birth to 17 years of age and their families. Remote services are being offered for families and children to turn to during this difficult time for help. 

  • Office Tel: 289 266-0036
  • 24/7 ROCK Crisis Line: 905 878-9785

Please visit their website for more information.

Distress Centre Halton: This service provides telephone and online support to people in our community to better cope with crisis, loneliness, and emotional stress. Having the support of a friendly person who cares about your feelings and what you’re going through can make all the difference. Distress Centre Halton is still operating all services online and over the phone. Here is the contact info should you want to reach out:

Please visit their  website  for more information. 
COVID-19 Resource Links for More Information
Here are some other links and resources. Please check these frequently. Information is changing quickly so these trusted online sources are the best ways to get the most up-to-date information:

  • For more COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus

Halton Region Public Health is focusing on those most at risk of COVID-19. The Region’s current priority is to hear from high-risk groups only:

  • Health care providers seeking or reporting information;
  • Those living or working in a healthcare setting or institution and experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; or
  • Those who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Not everyone requires testing. Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home. Get rest, drink fluids, eat well and stay home. You do not need to contact Public Health.

If you are high risk, please call 311 to start the assessment process. Residents must have an appointment to attend an Assessment Centre.

If you have SEVERE symptoms, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

In closing
We're all in this together. Please be assured your City Council and I are working to do our best as we come together in keeping our community safe and reassured in these uncertain times.
Keep well, stay calm, show kindness.

Lisa Kearns
Ward 2 Councillor
City of Burlington & Region of Halton
E-mail: Lisa.Kearns@burlington.ca or Ward2@burlington.ca

DIRECT CELL PHONE: 289-962-2679

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