Blair Lancaster tells ECoB she will not take part in the ward 6 debate. That decision could cost her the seat.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2018



Ward 6 city council incumbent Blair Lancaster has said she is not going to take part in the ward level debate that is to take place on September 20th, at the theatre in the Hayden High school.

Lancaster bases part of her decision on the “exposing the alternative motives behind Engaged Citizens of Burlington – ECOB”, the group that organized the debates.

Further Lancaster refers to a photograph that has three people on one of the The Issue program which Lancaster claims “is clearly a bias when the host of the show ran against me in the past and the co-host ran against me in the past and is now running again against me. I will not be participating in a debate hosted and organized by such an obvious biased group of individuals.”

Blair on The Issue

From the left: Mark Carr, Angelo Bentivegna, Lisa Kerns and Jim Young.

When ECoB became aware of Lancaster’s concerns they arranged for Deb Tymstra to serve as the moderator for the ward 6 debate. That apparently wasn’t enough for Lancaster,

Where is the bias?

There is still time for the council members to change their minds and be responsible and accountable to the people that elected them.


Deb Tymstra will serve as the moderator for the ward 6 debate – replacing Mark Carr.

All the ECoB people did was book the space, organization the event and keep everyone informed. The looked for a moderator who was experienced and had a strong, positive reputation in the community. Mark Carr is the host of The Issue, a weekly program aired on the Cogeco network

Cogeco has a license to operate a cable network that comes from the federal Canadian Radio and Telecommunication Committee.

These guys are about as above board as you can get.

Goldring and Carr Cogeco Cable

Mark Carr with Mayor Goldring doing a Cogeco broadcast from city council chamber.

Mark Carr has a group of co-hosts that he rotates through. Angelo Bentivegna, who is running against Blair Lancaster.

Quite why Lancaster doesn’t want to participate in a debate intended for the people in her ward is difficult to understand.

What is most interesting is that the three incumbent members of the current city council have decided not to participate in the debates organized by a citizens group. And that is all ECoB did – organize the event.

In most civilized communities the elected would applaud a group of volunteers that put in the time, effort and energy to make the debates possible. It has not been an easy task.

Lancaster as Dep Mayor Sept 28-15

Blair Lancaster got serve as the Mayor’s deputy and chaired a council meeting. She kind of liked sitting there – she didn’t get to wear the chain of office.

In 2010 when Blair Lancaster first ran for a seat on city council she was also a member of the group that wrote the Shape Burlington report. Should that have precluded her from running for public office?

When she was elected to city council she voted to approve and adopt the Shape Burlington report – then managed to forget everything in the document.

One of the prime recommendations was to encourage the development of community ward level organizations.

This city council consistently speaks of the need to engage the community – but when a community organization is created this city council does everything to shut them down.

What this city council likes is the citizen Advisory groups that they create, determine who will sit on the committee and then assign a council member to “guide” them.

Citizens have had enough.

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6 comments to Blair Lancaster tells ECoB she will not take part in the ward 6 debate. That decision could cost her the seat.

  • Peter

    “ In most civilized communities“… As a Burlington resident I find that mildly offensive. We are having an issue where two sides are disagreeing, close to an election I might add. I don’t think that being passive aggressive is of any help.

  • Elaine O'Brien

    Ms Lancaster’s “reasons” for avoiding this event are laughable.

  • Christopher A Maynard

    The Parr arrogance at its outraged pinnacle. You have it on good authority that all “citizens have had enough”….. such drama Pepper, makes me smile.

    Editors note: We didn’t say “all” – we did say citizens of which many many are Gazette readers.

  • Philip Waggett

    Another councillor–just like Sharman and Dennison who doesn’t want to be held accountable for their shoddy record and lack of regard for the residents of this community. How did these people get elected????

  • LoverofLiberty

    Good, We actually need someone who will communicate with the residents they represent. Actually return phone calls, emails and not just hold a town hall once per year in a bar or coffee shop and then leave early. I think she should return a portion of her salary, as she just waits to see what how Ward 5 will vote and follow along.