Burlington Chamber of Commerce seems to have forgotten the reason for having democratically elected legislators

By Pepper Parr

May 15th, 2022



In an earlier news report we asked: Why did the Burlington Chamber of Commerce decide the Burlington candidate for the New Blue Party would not be permitted to take part in the Chamber’s Question and Answer session on May 19th?

We now know why.

They were told that they did not poll at least 5% of the vote in the last election.  True – they didn’t exist in the last election.

They do not have a member sitting in the Legislature – not completely true.  The New Party is represented in the Legislature by Belinda Karahalios  who was at one point a member of the Progressive Conservative Party.

Belinda Karahalios was elected as the MPP for Cambridge.  In July of 2020 she was expelled from the PC caucus after she voted against Bill 195.

The bill was in its third reading, and would allow the government of Premier Doug Ford to extend or amend some emergency orders a month at a time for up to two years without consulting the legislature.

When she was booted out of the PC party,  Karahalios crossed the floor of the Legislature and declared herself a member representing the New Blue Party.   Crossing the floor is nothing knew – it happens federally and provincially.

The spirit of a democratic  society is to accept a party that is representative of the community; the New Blue party has 124 people nominated and running election campaigns across the province.  To put it more bluntly – the New Blue have a candidate running in every riding in the province as do the New Democrats and the Progressive Conservatives.  The Liberal Party has 122 candidates.

Allison McKenzie: New Blue candidate for Burlington,

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce needs to take another hard look at the decision they have made and welcome Allison McKenzie, candidate as the candidate for the New Blue Party in Burlington.

Personally, I am not a fan of the party and most of the positions they have taken.

I am a fan and a strong believer in fairness and openness.  The New Blue belong at the table.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.


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3 comments to Burlington Chamber of Commerce seems to have forgotten the reason for having democratically elected legislators

  • Donald H. Tyers


  • Mary Hill

    “The Burlington Chamber of Commerce needs to take another hard look at the decision they have made and welcome Allison McKenzie, candidate as the candidate for the New Blue Party in Burlington.”

    Really? “Needs to”? The Gazette has no business telling the CoC how to conduct its debates. Very presumptuous !

    The New Blue Party has no member in the legislature who has been consciously and purposely elected by voters voting deliberately for the New Blue Party.

    The opinion piece notes the New Blue Party has a candidate standing for election in every riding in the Province. We’ll if it gains 5% or more of the vote in this election it will have a strong argument to be included in such debates next time around.

    What if another new party was to field a candidate in say 75% of the ridings, or 50% of the ridings? Should they be included too?

    Until a party is able to show it has the designated level of popular support, by way of votes coraled in an election, it has no standing and should be given none.

    At the end of the day, however the CoC wishes to conduct its debate is up to it and nobody else.

  • Any form of exclusion in terms of elections that do not make sense as this one certainly does not is wrong, no matter who is the perpetrator and who the victim. 2014 the Spectator decided it would only have the Editorial Board interview two of the three candidates for Mayor, Rick Goldring and Peter Rusin. Rick Goldring was the incumbent, Peter Rusin was a newbie whereas the candidate it missed out, Anne Marsden had been at the city lectern for decades. Anne was the only woman in the race, the only one with a significant mobility disability that makes going door to door impossible especially when the City has no charging stations for her mobility scooter. She was also the only one who does not believe in accepting donations and thus her media advertising budget was low, when the Spectator made the choice of her exclusion without explanation. Anne who always runs on the current community issues that need attention has received neither explanation nor apology despite asking for both. What’s worse no commitment that the 2018 election and now this one will be different?

    The Thursday May 12, 2022 Spectator published an article by Erin Tolley who is the Canadian Chair in Gender, Race and Inclusive Politics and Associate Professor of Political Science at Carleton University. It was called “Mayor’s Office shouldn’t be a men’s club”. We found this distasteful of the Spectator given their past record of exclusionary interviews by their Editorial Board without explanation. We believe the best person for the job is the one who deserves election but we also believe in the right of every person running for office to be given equal opportunities to let the public know who they are and why they wish to serve. A mobility scooter parked in the Mayor’s Office, a female versus a male or vice versa, sexual orientation, colour race and creed and new rules that make no sense as has occurred with the Chamber have no place in our communities or the media, let’s all make sure the Chamber and Howard Elliott at the Spectator knows that. Again thanks for this opportunity to comment on an issue that has no place in Burlington elections. I will raise the issue with @e_tolley to get his perspective to determine if our position gells with his Canadian role.