Ward 2
Community Notice #2
COVID-19
Lisa Kearns l Councillor l Burlington.ca/Ward2
April 3, 2020
Hello,

The COVID-19 situation continues to develop rapidly and I know that many of you are feeling anxious and unsettled about our constantly changing reality and that’s understandable. I’m very confident that if we work together, and follow the advice of our public health experts, and stay home then we will achieve the best possible outcome for all of our community members.
 
In these times, we are fortunate Burlington is a city filled with resilient and caring people. I am inspired and deeply grateful for all essential service workers, health professionals and community leaders that are working around the clock - compassionately, competently and relentlessly. Keeping our community safe and reassured in these uncertain times is our top priority.
 
Thank you to so many of you who have been looking out for your neighbours and doing everything you can to help each other through this challenging time. If you find yourself struggling, there is support available, please connect with me directly and we will work together to get through this.

Keep well, remain calm, stay close as a community and show kindness.

Keep well, Lisa
Joseph Brant Hospital
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to Joseph Brant Hospital , and hospitals across the country. As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold, keeping patients, families, physicians and employees and the entire Burlington community safe is the Hospital's top priority during this pandemic.

Joseph Brant Hospital is asking for your assistance , in this global time of need, in supporting the Burlington community and its Hospital staff in delivering exemplary health care.
As our hospital teams work tirelessly to keep our community healthy and safe during this crisis, Joseph Brant Hospital funding is required now to respond quickly to fast-evolving needs as the impact of this virus grows.  Please support our hospital and staff as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Donate here .
Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, all city-run spring programs are suspended and all recreation facilities, parks, playgrounds, sports fields and city administration facilities will remain closed to the end of June. During this time, all bookings will be cancelled, and refunds will be given.

This decision, made by the city’s Emergency Control Group, follows the guidance of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health to prepare and plan for the months ahead, and is aligned with the city’s corporate planning cycle. Read Media Release .

During these unprecedented times, we all have a role to play in keeping our community healthy and safe. We must each do our part.

On our end, City Council and City Staff continue to take appropriate action to prioritize the health and well-being of our community by minimizing the spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus.

Halton Region Public Health has issued a clear and direct message to our community: Stay Home.

If you need some fresh air and activity, it’s okay to walk, cycle or jog through our parks, but please do not linger or congregate. Please do not use the playground equipment. Stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from everyone else in the park or on a trail, and take your waste home with you.
Important reminders:
  • Residents should stay home, except for essential travel
  • No gathering of groups over 5 people. Exceptions are for those living in the same household. This is by provincial order
  • Do not use any playgrounds. All playgrounds are closed and not cleaned
  • Washrooms, skate parks, facilities at Beachway Park and leash-free areas are closed. Please do not access these areas at all
  • Do not use the sports fields, basketball courts and no picnics
  • Walk, cycle, jog through the park or trail
  • Garbage, including pet waste is to be kept with you and disposed of at home
  • Remember to keep 2 metres away from others - about the length of a hockey stick
  • Yes...this list is repeated in the newsletter twice! It is that important! :-)

While you may not feel sick and while we know these measures are a change to normal routine, these must be followed by everyone, no exceptions.
Halton Regional Police Services Media Release, April 2, 2020

ENFORCEMENT OF EMERGENCY ORDERS
UNDER THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND CIVIL PROTECTION ACT
 
On March 17, 2020, the Province of Ontario declared a provincial emergency through the authority granted under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). Since this declaration, several emergency orders have been made under the Act to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that essential services continue to be provided and Ontarians are supported.
 
A ministerial designation under the Provincial Offences Act temporarily allows for by-law enforcement officers to assist police officers with enforcing the emergency orders being made by the province.
 
In this regard, Halton Regional Police Service officers, by-law enforcement officers with the Town of Oakville, City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills and Town of Milton, and Conservation Halton officers are now collaborating to respond to calls for service related to non-compliance with emergency orders within our collective boundaries.
A call taker will collect relevant information from the complainant, and when appropriate, a by-law enforcement officer or police officer will be dispatched to follow up. Upon responding to an alleged incident of non-compliance, the severity of each infraction in relation to the potential risk to public health and the spread of COVID-19 will be taken into account to guide a response. If compliance is not obtained through dialogue and education, officers have the authority to issue a ticket or summons.
 
People who are being charged with an offence under the EMCPA will be required to identify themselves if asked by a provincial offences officer, which includes police officers, First Nations constables, special constables and municipal by-law enforcement officers. Read more .
Support Available
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the federal government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). S pecifically, the Federal Government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:
  • Workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.  Read more .
Several community groups are forming offering support to those who need it. following are some ways you can help ... or connect with to receive help:

  • Ontario 211 - free helpline for questions related to food, family services, employment, community programs and crisis support. Call 211 from your phone or visit 211.ca

  • Need food now? Call the Food Bank at 905-637-2273. Leave your name, phone number and address. Hamper program in effect for safe delivery.

  • Looking to help? Donate online www.BurlingtonFoodBank.ca. Drivers and Volunteers welcome, please email info@BurlingtonFoodBank.ca

  • Mental Health: ROCK (Reach Out Centre for Kids) Available to clients via phone. General Access Line at 289-266-0036, if you are in crisis, contact our 24/7 ROCK Crisis Line at 905-878-9785

  • Mental Health: Distress Centre Halton - Telephone and online support to people in our community to better cope with crisis, loneliness, and emotional stress. Burlington: 905 681-1488



  • Giving Blood: Maintaining a blood supply is important, Visit blood.ca or call 1-888-2-Donate to see if you are eligible
  • Hydro / Ontario Energy Board: For time of use (TOU) customers the rate has been reduced to one off-peak rate for 45 days from March 24th. Experiencing difficulty making payments? Call 905-332-1851. There is a residential / small business ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment extended through to July 31, 2020. 

  • Burlington Transit: Fare payment is not required. Customers are asked to board and exit from the rear doors of every bus. Customers using personal mobility devices can board and exit using the front doors. To provide social distancing, customers should use alternate rows and choose seats away from other customers. Customers are requested to stay behind the priority and courtesy seats (behind tape). Customer Service: contactbt@burlington.ca or call 905-639-0550 or on Twitter @BurlONTransit

Business Support
Team Burlington
Over the last week, I've talked to many small business owners during this extraordinarily difficult and unprecedented time for everyone in our community.  

Many local businesses, including retailers, restaurants and other service providers have either been mandated to close or have made the difficult decision to temporarily close their doors to the public to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Small businesses need your support.

These are your neighbours.
This is your community.  
Small businesses need your support, now, more than ever.

Information about the provincial and federal government announcements pertaining to Businesses and how they will be responding to the economic effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found through Team Burlington.

In order to receive the most current information, please visit Team Burlington's webpage which is constantly being updated with timely and relevant resources, funding opportunities, and tools and business-related information for Burlington businesses. For more information, contact Team Burlington.
Team Burlington COVID-19 Business Support Forum
A three-part video conference series is underway to help businesses navigate through the changing landscape and provide up-to-date information related to the impacts of COVID-19 on the local, provincial and federal economies.

Session 1 was held on April 2, 2020 and included updates from municipal and regional representatives followed by a Q&A. View the recording of the April 2, 2020 Municipal and Regional Business Support Forum here .
 
Session 2 will be on Monday, April 6, 2020 at 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. This forum will focus on Provincial and Federal COVID-19 updates as it pertains to businesses.

Session 3 will be a Small Business Support Forum, details to be announced.
 
This is a free event, and open to all businesses with a Burlington address. Participation is limited to 500 participants in each forum, and registration will be on a first come, first serve basis.  Learn more .
Relief for Businesses
On April 1, 2020, the Federal Government Announced details of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to help businesses keep Canadians in their jobs.

Program highlights:
  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
  • Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.
  • Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.
  • For non-profit organizations and registered charities similarly affected by a loss of revenue, the government will continue to work with the sector to ensure the definition of revenue is appropriate to their circumstances. The government is also considering additional support for non-profits and charities, particularly those involved in the front line response to COVID-19. Further details will be announced in the near term.
  • An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.
Support for Small Businesses Facing Impacts of COVID‑19

The Federal Government recently announced a series of new and expanded measures  designed to help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills and to ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
Key Highlights:
  • The wage subsidy for qualifying businesses (see above).
  • Businesses, including self-employed individuals, will be allowed to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports.
  • A new Canada Emergency Business Account has been established to provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide government-guaranteed, interest free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses. 
  • A new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans to businesses when they go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require assistance to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

My comments:
Council + Standing Committee Meetings
Council Meeting - March 24, 2020
Many are adapting to a new normal for the time being - City Council is no exception.

We held our first virtual Special Council meeting on March 24, 2020, where we conducted critical business to amend our Procedural Bylaw to allow for virtual participation at electronic meetings. This agility allows us to conduct critical business while under the Municipal Emergency Act.

Due to COVID-19 and public health concerns, no members of the public were permitted at the meeting and all Council members participated remotely, with the exception of the Mayor who was in Council Chambers along with the Clerk/designate and an information technology technician. View the webcast of the March 24, 2020 here .
Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee
April 9, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Due to COVID-19 this meeting will be conducted as a virtual meeting, with no public attendance. Only the chair of the meeting, along with a clerk and audio/visual technician, will be in council chambers, with all other staff and members of council participating in the meeting by calling in remotely.
 
Members of the public can view virtual meetings remotely using the City’s existing web streaming tool at www.burlington.ca/calendar .

The public will be able to submit delegation material in writing only, in advance, to the clerk at clerks@burlington.ca . Due date for delegation material is by noon on Friday, April 3, 2020. Delegation material is to include your contact information in case a member of council has a question for you. This procedure will be followed until further notice.
 
Consent Items:
  • Tender Award – Belvenia Road, Lomond Crescent and Ayr Place Reconstruction
  • 2019 annual building permit revenues and expenses
  • Operating budget performance report as at December 31, 2019

Regular Items:
  • 2087-2103 Prospect Street - Section 37 community benefits
  • Integrated mobility plan – travel demand model funding
  • Current Value Assessment and Taxation for Burlington Downtown Business Improvement Area
  • Verbal update on COVID19 from City Manager Tim Commisso and Mayor Meed Ward
Council Meeting
April 20, 2020 - 6:30 p.m.
Agenda - not yet available

At its next Council meeting, City Council will consider temporary changes to provide relief for the April 21 property tax installment to help residents and businesses experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more .
COVID-19 Resource Links
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:


Mental Health Support:







Although all Burlington Public Library branches are closed to the public, you can access the Library online , anytime, anywhere.

There is a wealth of information available including activities for kids at home, community support services during the COVID-19 outbreak, booklists, plus more. Find 1000s of free eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, movies, and TV shows to download or stream. Apply for your free library card here .
In closing
Stability is good right now - home is a good place for you right now and we are working to make staying at home easy for you. My office is working remotely to help the best way possible. This situation is evolving every our and I am continually monitoring and will continue to keep you informed. 
Please forward this newsletter to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. They can subscribe here to receive this e-mail directly in their in-box as well.

 In closing, I'll share with you this quote, " In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to ”, Dave Hollis.

Keep well, stay calm, show kindness.


Lisa Kearns
Ward 2 Councillor
City of Burlington & Region of Halton

DIRECT CELL PHONE: 289-962-2679
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