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Mayor’s Mailbag – October 2022 Roundup – Bateman Site Update & Deterring Feeding of Wildlife

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward Mailbag

Welcome to the Mayor’s Mailbag – October 2022 roundup.

The Mayor’s Monday Mailbag is a weekly initiative Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor’s Office has launched to share answers to questions from the public we’ve received through our main email inbox at mayor@burlington.ca or the Mayor’s social media platforms.

At the end of the month, we publish a roundup of those most pressing questions we’ve received in the weeks prior.

Mayor’s Mailbag – October 2022 Roundup

PURCHASE OF ROBERT BATEMAN H.S. UPDATE

QUESTION:

“Wasn’t there supposed to be an update on the purchase of the former Robert Bateman High School site by now?”

ANSWER:

We know the community has been waiting for further information and confirmation that the purchase of the former Robert Bateman High School site has been finalized. The community support for the City working to retain this site as a community hub and park space has been overwhelmingly positive, and we thank our residents for that support, as well as Burlington City Council on its unanimous decision to preserve the area and protect it from other uses, such as a potential high-rise development.

Currently, staff have advised there are still conditions on the sale that are being worked through and need to be cleared prior to closing. All matters related to the land transactions and lease arrangements are expected to be closed and completed later this fall.

Once the purchase is finalized, staff will advise Council and the community that it has been completed. We’re looking forward to sharing the details with residents, with their continued support, and planning for the future of the Bateman site once the information can be released.

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DETERRING THE FEEDING OF WILDLIFE

QUESTION:

“What measures is the City of Burlington taking to deter the feeding wildlife?”

ANSWER:

The expert advice the City of Burlington received following the coyote attacks from the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry, as well as other expert agencies, was the coyotes were becoming uncharacteristically aggressive due to losing their fear of humans as a result of being fed — intentionally or unintentionally.

To help prevent future attacks from coyotes on people, and to discourage the feeding of wildlife, City staff will be continuing to patrol the city for any aggressive coyotes and looking for potential food sources. City staff have also recently covered park and public garbage bins in the immediate areas of concern with lids and are reminding residents that these bins are for park garbage only.

The City of Burlington has also increased fines for feeding wildlife. Animal Control Officers now have the discretion to issue tickets of $300 (previously $150) or issue a court summons with an increased fine range from $500 up to a maximum of $100,000 (previously, that limit was at $5,000). A summons is usually reserved for serious offenses and repeat offenders. In the case of a multiple offence, for each offence included in the multiple offence, a minimum fine of $500, and a maximum fine of $10,000, and the total of all fines for each included offence is not limited to $100,000.

We also continue to encourage residents to ensure the proper disposal of food waste — being mindful of how garbage is placed outside and when — so that it does not become an unintended potential food source for animals that could then attract coyotes to where they should not be.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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