Added: Aeisha Soileau - Date: 15.10.2021 15:41 - Views: 28682 - Clicks: 4760
The event was put on and hosted on Zoom by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce. Thank you all for ing me this morning for our first Virtual State of the City event. Of course, I wish we could be together in person as we have done in years, but I know we will still be able to connect and engage with one another while staying safe and healthy at the same time.
The Chamber has done an exceptional job supporting our local businesses through the pandemic as part of TEAM Burlington and adapting their flagship events online in ways that are both creative and memorable for everyone in attendance. We truly are a team for our community and this past year has proven it beyond words. Three themes come to mind as I look back on and how we approached the many unexpected events that came our way as a result of a global pandemic:.
With COVID, the learning curve was steep and immediate for every government, health agency, business and community around the globe. Burlington responded quickly and in a unified manner, setting aside political stripes and working together for the health and safety of everyone in our city. Our goal was constant and accurate communication on every channel possible, and thanks to the incredibly hard work of our teams, we achieved it. Media releases. Website updates. Social media, TV and radio interviews, and public telephone town halls. Over the course of six public telephone town halls , thousands of residents ed us to ask our expert panelists their questions and got the answers they needed.
We partnered immediately and effectively as I created the Burlington COVID Task Force with all levels of government — municipal, provincial and federal — as well as our hospital, police and fire department, and essential community supports like the United Way, our local food banks, and Burlington Hydro. We met 16 times between March and December, and together we identified challenges in food scarcity, logistics, business supports and beyond — and worked together to solve problems and get help where it was needed.
These collaborative and strengthened relationships, and improved and timely communication processes, will far outlast this pandemic and continue to benefit our community greatly in the years ahead. We came together quickly as we dealt with wave 1 and the first spring lockdown last year and we learned the real meaning of the word ADAPT. We made or bought our first masks and learned that six feet apart is about the length of a hockey stick…. We learned how to really wash our hands and stop touching our faces — and we flattened the curve as we headed into last summer.
We held committee and council meetings virtually and found ways to host virtual public meetings on newly proposed developments. Front line services, such as transit, ro and parks maintenance, fire and bylaw enforcement, introduced additional precautions including personal protective equipment to ensure staff and the community remained safe. The suspension and cancellation of many recreational programs and facilities required us to temporarily lay-off part-time staff with many returning in the second half of as programs were redeed.
Thanks to this funding, we have avoided a shortfall for , thereby not requiring us to use our constrained rainy day reserve funds and also permitting us to carryover a large portion of the government funding into to address continued COVID revenues losses. TEAM Burlington — Burlington Economic Development, the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Burlington, and our local BIAs — came together to distill a daily deluge of information from provincial and federal governments like rent relief and wage subsidies and pulled it all together on their newly built website to better help our businesses navigate it all.
Digital Main Street funding helped more than local businesses strengthen their ability to do business online and the hiring of 2 digital service squad members enabled them to reach out to over 1, businesses. The City partnered with the Burlington Restaurant Association, who ed our COVID Task Force, and responded to the need for expanded patios through spring and summer, waiving fees and expediting approvals. We are working hard this winter to further support safe and compliant winterized tents and outdoor spaces.
City Hall will continue to partner with TEAM Burlington and our business community to identify advocacy opportunities and act on them, and ensure business owners and employees are informed of all the supports that are available to them as we look toward recovery in the year ahead. We saw many businesses struggle this year, with some of our most cherished and favourite spots closed for good. We lost 27 businesses in , most of whom were those hardest hit by the closures and restrictions that came along with rising COVID cases.
Restaurants, gyms, and personal services like hair salons saw challenges like never before. Restaurants pivoted to focus on take-out and delivery, salons started providing take-away kits and special packages, and fitness providers started offering online and outdoor classes wherever possible. I was constantly moved by how much our residents did to support their favourite businesses by taking them up on these new offers, buying gift cards, and shopping local this holiday season.
Throughout the City continued to make progress on our new Official Plan, and it was approved by Halton Region on November 30th of This is intended to direct future growth around the GO stations where additional density is best supported by access to mass transit. We continue work to refresh our outdated zoning bylaw with the goal of helping make simple things easier to get done — and that will be a multi-year process.
In , more than building permits were issued for non-residential development totaling over , square metres of floor space that will continue to help our business growth and economy. We presently have 93 active major planning applications in various stages of review as of January and totaling over 4, residential units that would further increase the assessment base once approved and occupied. We also announced an exciting project with Brock University , who has decided to relocate its current Hamilton campus to a more accessible location in Burlington, to better serve students and the broader community.
We are thrilled to see this expanded post-secondary offering in our community and look forward to further updates on location and timelines this year. And in October , City Council supported the establishment of the Burlington Lands Partnership , a new organizational structure that will oversee the strategic lands management function of the City.
The BLP represents a transitional approach that allows for the expansion of organizational capacity and a build-up of expertise that will in turn enable further consideration by Council of a formalized municipal development corporation MDC in line with other municipalities in Ontario and utilizing the powers allowed under the Municipal Act related to municipal corporations.
The Black Lives Matter movement gained global attention after tragic events and loss of life in the U. We had a temporary art installation by a local artist not long after, in front of city hall. The dresses represent the hundreds — perhaps thousands — of North American Indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or disappeared during the past four decades.
We launched our first Rainbow Crosswalk together this past summer, and had a virtual Pride flag raising for Pride Month in June. We have more initiatives to further strengthen our support for these issues in the year ahead that I look forward to sharing with you soon. We were collectively inspired by the Front Line porch clap on Friday nights last spring where we all stood on our porches and balconies to show our support for the people in our community working tirelessly to keep us safe and healthy.
The stories poured in of ways people all across our city were donating their time and money, helping their neighbors, building gardens and chalk murals, singing to one another and so much more — that we ended up creating a Wall of Inspiration on my website to spread the joy of these stories of support, creativity and community. And Seniors exercise equipment opened at Burloak park thanks to local fundraising efforts by Burlington Seniors Community Inc.
The stories are just unlimited and as much as we are all struggling, there is so much kindness, generosity and resilience to be found in our wonderful City that gives us all the strength to keep going in these difficult times. I spoke with my fellow councillors this past month and found that they too saw a lot of silver linings and positive outcomes in Kelvin Galbraith of Ward 1 noted that the future of meetings has changed forever.
No longer do we need to waste as much time and energy or gas, emissions, and wear and tear of our cars just to meet in person or groups when the virtual technology is present. He saw this as the greatest carbon reducing measure of the pandemic. In the year ahead one of his key focus areas will be on helping as many business owners as he can rebound from the losses sustained during the pandemic. Lisa Kearns of Ward 2 told me she found so much value in the ability to engage our community in a new virtual way that can still be used when we return to the faces and places we love.
She said that in she is most excited to usher in the development policies of the new Official Plan that puts resident and local business values first. Ward 3 Counc. Rory Nisan found the biggest silver lining to be the strength of Burlington as a community, as he has seen how neighbours have come together to support one another and believes those social bonds will stay with us. Ward 4 Counc. Shawna Stolte told me how much she appreciated the opportunity to support the creation of new Neighbourhood Groups in Ward 4 during the pandemic.
She saw first hand that as residents came together in unprecedented ways to support each other through this challenging time, it truly reflected the message that we are stronger together. Ward 5 Counc. Paul Sharman echoed seeing the benefits in the deployment of technology that has been sitting on the shelf for a of years, leading to people doing many things from home without burning gasoline on unnecessary shopping and meeting trips!
He looks forward to hanging out with family, friends and colleagues without fear of becoming unwell or making others sick in the year ahead. In the year ahead, he is excited about working with City, Region and Upper levels of Government in making ificant progress with providing reliable Broadband in Rural Burlington. We will continue to support an effective and efficient vaccine rollout so that all residents of Burlington who want to get one will be able to do so by this fall, supporting a broader reopening of our economy and a healthier new normal.
And in the fall we will begin the budget process. We will complete the work on our Official Plan, getting growth and development where it makes sense in Burlington. And we will continue our advocacy work and partnerships to ensure the needs of our community are heard and addressed at every level.
We will continue working on issues like Safe Restart funding, sick pay, rent relief, rural broadband, the environment, and more. If the past year has shown us anything, it is how undeniably interconnected we all are, and how much we can do when we all work together. me up for the newsletter! Phone: : mayor burlington. Media Specialist: John Bkila john. Newsletter up. By Administrator February 1, am No Comments. Thank you all for being here today. Adapting to ever-changing circumstances and extraordinary challenges.
And inspiring one another with hope, innovation, and support. We collaborated as a city-wide leadership team on quick decisions and responsive actions. Their adaptability and innovation was an inspiration to us all. AND throughout we continued to see development applications and settlement approvals.
We continue to be open for business, directing growth where it needs to go. INSPIRE We were collectively inspired by the Front Line porch clap on Friday nights last spring where we all stood on our porches and balconies to show our support for the people in our community working tirelessly to keep us safe and healthy.
In he looks forward to providing leadership in 2 major areas: First and foremost to work closely with Council and staff to do whatever the City can to protect the community from the COVID 19 pandemic including redeing and adapting City Services as needed, and that includes doing everything we can to support local businesses; and Continue to deliver the citizens of Burlington with high quality public services and excellent value for their tax dollars. Receive new post notifications by . Commenting Guidelines click left arrow to read. Here are guidelines before you comment, and our expectations before we will post: Be civil.
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