September beckons with a level of anxiousness that are not just first day jitters as families prepare for school and changes in their work environment. We have included in this newsletter information on how to contact your school board trustees and Dr. Meghani's return to school video to assist you in this regard. Please remember to slow down and be vigilant in the school zones. Getting to school safely is within our control.
September returns us to a more regular Town and Regional Council meeting schedule along with Planning and Development. We continue to meet virtually and the public's participation is always welcomed.
We are excited to be able to re open Town services including the Library ( Clearview branch can provide contactless pick up and returns only at this time due to the school connection) and Community Centres. Follow the links to check out what is new and changing. We are hopeful that a broader range of safe experiences will help reduce the crowding at the waterfronts.
Watch for a special edition e blast in a couple of weeks on the opening of the Oakville Trafalgar Community Centre. The pool liners have arrived from the United States and commissioning the pools may delay the pool opening but the remainder of the facility is being prepped for opening. Stay tuned for details on how to book an appointment and the specific offerings they will provide.
In support of RBC’s Canada United Campaign that encourages Canadians to shop and dine local for an opportunity to win cash prizes, the Town is joining municipalities across Canada in declaring this weekend “Canada United Weekend”.
Halton Region Public Health is working together with our local school boards, as well as the private and French schools in Halton, to support them as they prepare to reopen. We will continue to work with our schools to ensure measures are taken to protect our students, including: • active daily screening; • no mixing of cohorts (or classes) in the elementary years; • having older children wear face coverings; • enhanced hand hygiene and cleaning; and • providing PPE to staff. While Halton continues to have a low number of cases, returning safely to school is a community effort: This means: • tightening up social circles; • practicing physical distancing; • wearing face coverings in indoor public places and when physical distancing cannot be maintained; and • staying home when ill.
Decisions around heading back to school will be different for every family depending on your child’s academic needs, whether your child or household members are at increased risk of severe illness, and your family’s unique situation. If your children will be learning remotely, talk to them about how the school year will be different and work together to find ways to ensure there are opportunities to socialize and be physically active. Talk to your children about the importance of keeping themselves, their classmates, their teachers and school staff safe.
Here are some tips to help: • Show them how to properly wash their hands and give them hand sanitizer; • Demonstrate and explain the importance of “physical distancing” • Make bringing a mask and wearing it a part of their daily school routine – show them how to properly wear a mask or face covering. Let your child pick out a mask and make sure to label it and provide a clean container/bag to store the face covering. • Remind your children they should not touch their face or other people or put objects in their mouth. You can also show them how to follow directional signage. This can be harder for younger children, but having regular conversations can help. • Remind them and older children about the importance of not sharing food or personal items such as toys or cell phones. • Ensure that your children are up-to-date with all recommended vaccines, including the vaccine for flu; and • Most importantly, encourage children to ask questions, express concerns and remind them how important it is to be kind to each other once they are back in the classroom.
With the start of our new school year just over one week away, we have been receiving a number of requests for information on the plans, precautions and policies that have been put in place by both the Halton Catholic District School Board and the Halton District School Board.
You can also reach out to your Trustee, Ward 3 Halton District School Board Trustee – Tanya Rocha at email@example.com. If your child attends a Halton Catholic School, their School Trustees represent each municipality ‘at large’, meaning they represent the whole municipality, rather than a designated section (‘by ward’). Your Halton Catholic Trustees are Helena Karabela – firstname.lastname@example.org , Nancy Guzzo email@example.com and Peter DeRosa firstname.lastname@example.org
The Halton Public school board also has written a letter to the Ministry which you will find of interest
Ontario Releases COVID-19 Management Plan for Schools - As part of Ontario's plan for students to safely return to the classroom in September, the government has released the Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools document. This guide was developed in consultation with public health experts, including Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, and aims to help schools identify and isolate COVID-19 cases, reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and prevent and minimize outbreaks.
Special Education and Mental Health Supports Enhancement - $12.5 million
Additional Public Health Nurses - $12.5 million
Remote Learning - $36 million
The province is setting aside $50 million for any future pandemic learning needs.
Ontario Expands Indoor Capacity for Meeting and Event Facilities - The province is easing restrictions for facilities that rent out professional meeting and event spaces. Beginning August 21, facilities can have up to 50 guests for each indoor meeting room or event space within the facility. The current indoor gathering limit will now apply on a per meeting room or event space basis at professional meeting and event facilities, including convention centres, hotels, motels, resorts, banquet halls and conference centres. Outdoor meeting and event facilities remain subject to the 100-person gathering limit for the entire outdoor area. Capacity limits exclude employees or event personnel. In addition, new regulatory amendments have come into force requiring contact information for only one person in a party entering indoor or outdoor dining areas starting today, with exceptions. This will reduce the administrative burden on businesses such as restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, and tour and guide services, while continuing to support case and contact tracing.
We have provided Town staff with a very long list of questions gathered from the community. To keep information flowing we are getting Staff responses in ' batches'. There are numerous other questions still to be answered and follow up questions as a result of these published answers. We have provided this information to JCRA and others so they can distribute to their email lists as it is voluminous and cannot be attached to the newsletter. We have a request in to post the resident Q&A on the Town Planning page for this application.
We do want to CAUTION that Town staff answers do not reflect a third submission which Amazon/H&R has not filed yet. Responses to the questions at this time focus on what is part of Site Plan. Questions related to areas not part of Site plan are being forwarded to Amazon and H&R to get additional details and will be included in the staff report.
Town staff are reporting Amazon is still working on an operational plan document for public review. While the delays are frustrating, an accurate operational plan is foundational to the terms of reference and assumptions for the Traffic study and Noise review. This information is critical to determining the facts of the situation we are facing. Following its publication we anticipate more questions and will be asking Amazon to follow through with a community meeting with key stakeholders. At this time we do not have a date for when the application will be on the Planning and Development Agenda. Our best estimate is no sooner than Oct., based on not having the necessary studies submitted and analysis complete.
We continue to listen, seek facts and follow up regularly.
As in previous years the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) conducts their rabies control operations by plane/helicopter from August – September and their urban hand baiting operations from July – October.
The MNRF has posted the 2020 Summer/fall baiting schedule on their website. Hand and helicopter distribution of public greenspaces in Oakville will be completed by the end of this month. The MNRF reminds Ontarians that if you find a bait packet in an area where it shouldn’t be (e.g. your yard):
Don’t open it
Place a plastic bag over your hand to keep your scent off the bait
Move it to an area where wildlife may find it (e.g. a forested area).
Halton Region is reviewing its Regional Official Plan, which guides land-use decisions to ensure new development continues to meet the needs of current and future residents. To gain input from the community, Halton is asking residents to participate in the review process through a variety of public engagement opportunities. The consultation period is starting with an online questionnaire that residents are being asked to complete by September 28, 2020.
Halton reviews the Regional Official Plan every five years to ensure it is aligned with Provincial policies and remains responsive to current social, economic and demographic conditions. There are five areas currently under review:
Natural Heritage: Natural heritage system policies to preserve the natural environment and protect source water.
To help residents learn more about each area under review, Halton Region has created summary webpages and posted discussion papers on their website. The Region is asking the community to provide feedback by visiting halton.ca/ropr and following the links on any of the summary pages to:
Take thegeneral questionnaire: Residents can provide high-level feedback on theme areas relating to the Regional Official Plan.
Complete thetechnical questionnaire: Community members can provide detailed feedback on theme areas relating to the Regional Official Plan. The technical questionnaire contains questions on each of the five discussion papers. Residents can answer those questions that they are interested in.
Responses will be collected until September 28, 2020. There will also be opportunities for residents to share their thoughts through virtual Public Information Centres this fall. To learn more about the Regional Official Plan review and sign up to receive email updates on the review process, please visit halton.ca/ropr. To request the questionnaire in an alternative format, please call 311 or email email@example.com.
The Oakville Chamber of Commerce has launched the #StrongerTogether Business Resiliency Awards presented by BDC to honour Oakville’s resilient small businesses. Nominate an Oakville business that has shown innovation, compassion, and determination during the COVID-19 lockdown and reopening. Nominations will be accepted until noon on Friday, September 25th. Submit your nomination online at oakvillechamber.com/strongertogether.
Hats off to the community gardeners at Kingsford Park. The bounty is looking very tasty.
Oakville Galleries is thrilled to present their second t-shirt fundraiser in collaboration with Kerr Street Mission and Wei Yan's Youth Art Studio. All proceeds from the t-shirt sales will be divided to support Kerr Street Mission, Oakville Galleries and Hamilton Arts Council's Hamilton Artists Relief Fund. For more than two decades, Kerr Street Mission has been providing essential programs and services for families and in particular their children.
Today, Kerr Street Mission is a gathering place and a hub of care for the community. They continue to develop innovative programs and seek partnerships that will meet the needs of the many people that are in distress or struggling to provide the basic necessities for themselves and their families.
For further details and ordering information, please visit https://oakgalleries.entripyshirts.com/
The Oakville Galleries at the Oakville Public Library Central Branch is reopening on September 1. Customers can book a 30 minute time slot to visit the gallery. The gallery will be open on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On September 12th Crime Stoppers of Halton will be holding their popular SHRED EVENT FUNDRAISER.
Have you accumulated boxes of papers & documents during your COVID Clean Up and would like to make sure that your personal and business documents are securely disposed of?
Drop by Halton Regional Police H.Q. (Highway 25 & North Service Road) between 9:00 & 3:00 on September 12th and have your papers shredded right on site. The suggested $20. per box donation will further support Crime Stoppers of Halton.