October Update

Budget Telephone Town Hall

On Wednesday, October 18th, I hosted our first ever Budget Telephone Town Hall.  We had a great turn out and received many thoughtful questions regarding Burlington. I want to thank all the residents who participated in this discussion.

Questions ranged from investing in our transit, bike lanes to managing traffic flow on our city streets. We gained a tremendous amount of feedback that we will use to create our 2018 Budget.

This video is a snapshot of the topics raised on Wednesday night.

Inspire Burlington With Moses Znaimer

The Mayor’s Inspire Burlington Series, with the President of CARP, Moses Znaimer is SOLD OUT!  We announced the event earlier this month and we’re thrilled to see that this event is one not to be missed.

Moses will share his perspective on a “New Vision of Aging for Canada”.  How baby boomers have changed in the way they age.

Our experience has shown us that even when people register to attend, they miss the event due to conflicts.  We will initiate a stand-by line for walk-ins and try our best to accommodate everyone.

Downtown Mobility Hub Draft Plan

Last month, our city staff unveiled the Downtown Mobility Hub draft New Precinct Plan and Policy Framework to members of the council.

The new Draft Precinct Plan was produced after extensive consultation with the community.  It proposes dedicating 49% of our downtown for public use and establishes where mid-rise and tall buildings should be located.

I encourage you to take a look and let me know what you think.  You can watch the entire presentation HERE or read about it HERE.

Burlington Matters Back For Another Season


Another season of Burlington Matters is back on Your TV (Formally TV Cogeco).

I was in the studio last week taping the season premiere.

Our first episode focuses on the Draft New Precinct Plan for Downtown Mobility Hub. Mary Lou Tanner, Director of Planning and Building and Rosa Bustamante, Manager of Mobility Hubs joined me on the show and we had a great discussion on the future of our beautiful Downtown.
Burlington Matters repeats throughout the week and you can find the full
schedule here.Tune in on Cable 23 or HD Cable 700. To suggest an episode topic, please email mayor@burlington.ca 

Live with Kelly from Kelly’s Bake Shoppe

I had a wonderful opportunity to sit down with Kelly Childs, the owner of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe on Brant Street, to discuss something more personal.
I was invited to go LIVE on Kelly’s Facebook page to discuss the importance of mindfulness and the benefits of meditation. Not many of you know that I meditate on a regular basis. It allows me to pause from my very busy schedule to regroup and focus.
Thank you to Kelly and the team for a great start to my morning last week. You can watch the interview here.

Travel To Apeldoorn Netherlands!

This is a rare opportunity! Travel to Burlington’s twin city Apeldoorn Netherlands and stay with local families while you explore Amsterdam with Burlington’s Mundialization Citizen Committee! This is the best way to experience Dutch hospitality and culture.

You can learn more about the trip at upcoming information sessions or call 905-335-7600 ext. 7855 or email mundialization@burlington.ca

“With Respect to Old Age” My thoughts on Dr. Sinha’s Inspire Burlington Presentation

October 18, 2012

On October 17 I had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Samir Sinha for our latest Inspire Burlington. Dr. Sinha’s presentation – With Respect To Old Age: Can We Do Better? – was not only inspiring, but incredibly informative and enlightening. Dr. Sinha is a very engaging speaker who obviously has found his passion.

For those of you who were not in attendance – a little background. Dr. Sinha is the newly appointed expert lead of Ontario’s Seniors Care Strategy. He is a passionate and respected advocate for the needs of older adults and that was evident to the audience at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Currently, Dr. Sinha serves as the Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals in Toronto.  His list of credentials is impressive.

Dr. Sinha has consulted and advised hospitals and health authorities in Britain, Canada, the United States and China on the implementation and administration of unique, integrated and innovative models of geriatric care that reduce disease burden, improve access and capacity, and ultimately promote health. He covered much of this information in his presentation which I invite you to review here.

His message was very appropriate for Burlington as we are aging at a greater rate than both the provincial and national averages. Between 2006 and 2011, Burlington’s population increased by 6.9% while the percentage of people over 65 has increased by 17.2%. In the next 20 years, that percentage over 65 is expected to double and the population over 85 is expected to quadruple.

Our society looks entirely different now than in the past. The average age of Canadians in the 50’s was 27. Today the average age is 47. And through advances in healthcare, lifestyle and education, we are living much longer. As Andre Picard pointed out when he was here, our healthcare system was designed to prevent families from going bankrupt and losing their farm when a health issue arose.  I would suggest very few of us look at it that way today. Patients have changed but the system has not. This presents some enormous financial challenges for our system.

We are also seeing huge changes in society regarding how communities and families live. Multi-generational homes have decreased significantly and it is not uncommon for families to live across the country from one another. This presents a challenge to the older adult who requires care as they age, often resulting in admittance to the hospital and Long Term Care facilities for extended periods of time, rather than having care provided in their homes by loved ones. Once again, financial challenges are incurred.

So what needs to happen to reduce these financial challenges to our system? Reducing the number of frequent and high users of our hospitals is paramount. The highest users are those with multiple health issues, functional impairments and those that are “socially frail”, meaning they are isolated and alone. We have to think of alternative ways to provide appropriate care for our seniors.

With respect to old age, we not only can do better, we must do better. Dr. Sinha gave examples of wonderful programs and ideas that are offered all over the world that we can learn from.

We have many initiatives locally. The Burlington Seniors’ Advisory Committee represents seniors’ perspectives on municipal policies, services and programs. The Elder Services Advisory Committee advises on seniors’ issues and services at the regional level. Just recently the Halton Seniors’ Directory has been made available. We have reduced fares on Burlington Transit for seniors and have had many requests to investigate the concept of free passes for seniors. We have a vibrant Seniors’ Centre with several thousand members participating in a whole host of activities, as well as a number of Parks and Recreation activities specifically geared to older adults.

But much more needs to be considered. Communities need to ensure that they are respectful of the diversity of needs of older persons and be willing to accommodate and include the whole community.  We can help develop Elder Friendly hospitals and communities by shifting our thinking. This can only succeed through collaboration and teamwork within the community, City, our Region, Hospitals, LHINS, CCACs and the province.

I look forward to your comments.

You can also share your feedback in a short, post-event survey.

What did you think of Dr. Sinha’s presentation?