Ward 2
Community Notice #3
Lisa Kearns l Councillor l Burlington.ca/Ward2
April 13, 2020

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.

Sharing the following Joseph Brant Hospital News Release :
I extend my well wishes for the quick recovery of the staff and patients affected. This situation has been covered by the media and the key messages are to continue the vigilance in using appropriate safety precautions.

Halton Region Public Health is aware and has been working collaboratively with the hospital to ensure all outbreak measures have been taken.

Wholeheartedly, JBH is committed to providing safe, quality care for our patients and our Burlington community during this unprecedented time.
City Hall Updates
Telephone Town Hall
On Tuesday, April 14 , the City of Burlington will hold a second telephone town hall to provide updates about what the City is doing to protect the health and safety of our community and to address concerns from the public related to COVID-19.

To assist in answering as many questions from the public as possible, the town hall has been extended to two hours and will take place between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

We expect a high volume of participants. Please be patient and keep trying the line until you get through.

The two-hour town hall will be hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and provide the public with an opportunity to hear from a panel of leaders confirmed to date including:
  • Members of City Council
  • City Manager Tim Commisso and senior staff
  • MP for Burlington, the Honourable Karina Gould
  • MP for Oakville-North Burlington, Pam Damoff
  • MPP for Burlington, Jane McKenna
  • MPP for Oakville-North Burlington, Effie Triantafilopoulos
  • President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital, Eric Vandewall
  • Fire Chief, Dave Lazenby

Learn more including how you can participate.

On March 26, 2020 we held our first Telephone Town  Hall to provide updates about what the City is doing to protect the health and safety of our community. You can listen to it here. The Q&A from the Telephone Town Hall is posted on the City's site if you wish to review and refresh yourself with this information.
Approval of Interim Property Tax Relief
On April 6th, City Council unanimously approved provisional relief of penalty and interest on property taxes for all property types. The temporary changes mean that for the months of April and May 2020: 
  • No penalty will be charged on the April 21st installment;
  • No month-end interest will be charged;
  • No returned payment administration fee will be charged for any returned tax payments (i.e. insufficient funds, stop payment); and
  • The next tax payment is not due until June 30.
Approval of Physical Distancing By-law
On Monday, April 6, at a special meeting of council, city council unanimously approved a new physical distancing by-law to support efforts in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Council considers the protection of health and safety of the public to be a paramount concern, and the direction for the proposed by-law comes from the City’s Emergency Control Group.

The Medical Officer of Health has recommended physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID19, including maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from other individuals who are not members of the same household.

The City of Burlington’s by-law states that while on public property, no person shall stand less than a 2 metre distance to any other person that does not reside with them in a single household or permit a child under the age of 16 to stand less than a 2 metre distance from any other person that does not reside with them in a single household. Upon conviction of an offence under this by-law, a person would be liable for a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $100,000. The by-law is expected to be in effect through the duration of Burlington’s State of Emergency.

The longer we stay apart now, the sooner we can come together again.

City of Burlington Council, Senior Management and Communications are updating the city's COVID-19 webpage multiple times a day. This page has many answers regarding city services and outside resources.
All Parks Closed to Vehicular Access
Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most important steps everyone needs to take. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t move on its own; it needs people to move it. To discourage people from gathering and to help reduce the transmission of the virus, the City of Burlington has closed all vehicular access to our parks . Only walking, jogging, riding a bike or scooter/wheelchair through a park or trail is permitted. Remember to keep 2 metres away from others - about the length of a hockey stick.

The best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community, is stay home.

All amenities in our parks have already been closed, please continue to respect the caution tape and keep off of playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard areas, tennis and basketball courts.
The City has placed signage and barricades in the entrances of parking lots to block vehicles from parking.

Residents who see groups of five or more people gathering or individuals using outdoor recreational facilities can call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID hotline to report any concerns at
905-825-4722 .

Local enforceable orders (as of April 2) include:
  • Closure of places of non-essential businesses
  • Prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people
  • Closure of public places and establishments
  • Closure of all outdoor recreational amenities and parks
Burlington COVID-19 Task Force
The Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency. The purpose of the Task Force is to share information and mobilize community and agency resources to support our hospital and healthcare workers as we prepare for an anticipated surge of patients in the coming days and weeks and work through a recovery period, as well as coordinate our broader community efforts on COVID-19. Members will bring information and/or requests for assistance back to each of their own organizations and emergency response tables.

While this information-sharing and collaboration is already happening, the Task Force simply formalizes this effort and adds some structure as we collectively serve our community.

I have been appointed to this Task Force together with community leaders and decision-makers representing various organizations and agencies involved in the COVID-19 response. Learn more.
Halton Region Updates
Halton Region provides daily updates and is an invaluable resource as Halton Public Health leads the charge in responding to COVID-19

Halton Region has released information on mask use as well as COVID-19 Health Advice:
  • Medical masks are needed by healthcare workers, including surgical, medical procedure masks and respirators, such as N95 masks. It is extremely important that we keep the supply of medical masks for health care workers where it is urgently needed for medical procedures and to care for individuals who have COVID-19.
  • Wearing a non-medical mask (for example, cloth mask or face covering) is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you.
  • Wearing a non-medical mask that covers your mouth and nose can prevent your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces.
  • Non-medical masks can be worn for short periods of time in public settings when physical distancing is not possible (for example, shopping, public transit). While wearing a non-medical mask, continue to practice proven measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing.
  • Wearing rubber gloves in public does not reduce your risk of COVID-19. Regular handwashing with soap and water and avoiding touching your face, nose and mouth offer more protection.
Support our Small Businesses
Shopping locally during this challenging time for Burlington business is more than a good idea, it is a necessity to help keep these small businesses flourishing . Small businesses are an essential part of our community. They are risk-takers by nature; many are family owned and many are residents of the community where their business is located. They are the entrepreneurs that hire our children, sponsor our teams, donate for our events – they are our neighbours. 

Here's how you can offer your support:
Some small businesses have made the decision to close completely, others are working in reduced capacity. In times of unprecedented hardship our small businesses and independents often experience the brunt of this crisis. Read more .
Support Available
The COVID-19 pandemic is calling on all of us to work collectively in a way many of us have never experienced before. Though challenged by the limitations of self-isolation and physical distancing, we are also finding meaningful ways to stay connected—from inside our homes and throughout our neighbourhoods and communities. No one is untouched by this unfolding situation.

As we adjust to our new normal, let's continue to find ways to support one another.
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

  • Volunteer or Donate: Visit Volunteer Halton - Community Development Halton's COVID-19 Community Response portal where you can donate or register to volunteer.

  • 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

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:

  • Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK): Available to clients via phone. General Access Line at 289-266-0036, if you are in crisis, contact the 24/7 ROCK Crisis Line at 905-878-9785, Office Tel: 289 266-0036 and 24/7 ROCK Crisis Line: 905 878-9785
  • Distress Centre Halton: Telephone and online support to people in our community to better cope with crisis, loneliness, and emotional stress. Tel: 905 681-1488
  • Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST): 1-877-825-9011

COVID-19 Hotline:
Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Help our Hospital
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 .
In closing
To show our support and in honour of our brave and hardworking healthcare and front line workers, the Burlington Pier lighting is blue, and at this time, will continue to be blue until the end of June.

The Joseph Brant Hospital flag has also been raised at City Hall.

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.

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.

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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