Burlingtonians put Facebook to work to get their opinions out - is anyone listening to them?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

November 30th, 2017


We appear to have attributed a comment made by Liz Benneian to John Was in the copy of the material from the Facebook page.  Mr. Was is offended and has asked that we remove the comment attributed to him.  He has asked for an apology – Sorry John – we certainly would not have you on the side of those who want to do something for the Trumpeter Swans

There are almost as many opinions on the usefulness of Facebook as there are people using the site.  As a society we are still struggling with how to use it effectively, fairly and legally – without doing any harm.  The Americans are still grappling with how the Russians intruded on their most recent presidential election.

Burlington is finding that its citizens have taken to Facebook to get their story out.  The current story is the dis-satisfaction with the way city hall is rolling out an Official Plan and determining where growth can take place and what kind of growth can take place  in various parts of the city.

The approval of a 23 storey tower opposite city hall was what set things off.  Ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward putt her views on what is known as the 421 Brant development on Facebook.  Liz Benneian a well known and respected environmental advocate commented on the Meed Ward posting – and then things took off.

Liz Benneian 1

Liz Benneian

November 29 at 9:26am

All the people commenting on this thread, if you want to have any power over these decisions, you need to organize. Share your emails with each other. Organize a community meeting. Support each other in getting your views heard and delegating at Committee and then Council. Be prepared to be in it for the long-term. Organization and persistence are the key to having an impact.

Comments flowed in.  If there was ever any doubt in your mind that social media works read on, and on – and on.

Phillip Wooster I don’t agree with this intensification by adding numerous tall buildings in the downtown core which will destroy the character of Burlington as we know it. But the question must be asked, “Why are the politicians, special interests/developers, bureaucrats supporting this type of development when as Marianne has noted we get NOTHING in return.”

Pam Casey I would like to register to speak at the meeting but before I do register, I want assurance that I will not be booed at. I would like to express my view. Can you make that happen Marianne?

Deborah Jukes I have lived in Burlington ALL of my life in the core as a child, then to north and four years ago, right sized back to the core! Hearing about this plan makes me want to leave Burlington…. this plan angers and saddens me! It shows no respect for our history or the life style we aspired to when we talk about a walking community! Be careful City Council- you about to pave paradise!!!

Candice Carson

There have been a few posts like this providing a bit of an “FYI” to residents but as our ward representative can you please share with us what actions you have taken to advocate on our behalf? From what I can…See More

MizTracy Ann
Some of the buildings that will be replaced by this plan look like they should have heritage designations. Do they? If there are appropriate places for higher rise buildings in the downtown, couldn’t a requirement be that they be designed with retail space at ground level?

MizTracy Ann If we were to distribute and place small signs on our property stating our opposition to the intensification. What do residents feel would be a good message to put on the signs? One clear statement we could all display. Thoughts?

Liz Benneian
Sorry for butting in again. Lawn signs are nice but the very best way to advocate for what you want is to contact your Council members. Phone them, write them, email them. Sign up to have your say at the relevant Council or committee meeting. Show up a…See More

Larissa Fenn
Participants on this thread may also be interested in the relevant background: https://www.burlington.ca/…/ser…/Official-Plan-Review.asp

Lisa Kane
Do we need to register to attend the meeting, or it is just for speaking?

Mark Sheehan
This video is disturbing to say the least. So in essence, the City planners and the “Rogue 5” Councillors are basically planning to tear down every one of the city’s historic/character buildings that make up Burlington’s charm and heritage and replace …See More

Lisa Quondamatteo Is there any kind of petition I can sign Marianne?

Liz Benneian
My two cents again. Usually petitions mean very little to politicians. Call, write, email, show up at Council. Organize your community. Make this an election issue.

Phil Garner

Thomas C. Riddell
Burlington fine the way it we don’t want to be Toronto lakeshore

David G. Denis
I want to register my disapproval of these plans. What is going on with the City of Burlington? I planned to retire here after living here for 30 years but the gridlock and lack of a downtown is going to make me leave. Is this a high density property t…See More

Michelle Sallows Preyde
Every city NEEDS to maintain a quaint, downtown core if the want to attract tourists, both local folks who shop and eat downtown for the experience and out of town folks who want to experience Burlington.

Leslie Clanachan
Burlington was one of the few cities that voted in favour of keeping the OMB so that should tell you where there priorities are. For shame councillors. I can’t imagine any resident in Burlington thinking this is positive and responsible growth plan. Li…See More

Geraldine Armitage
I think the Council has gone absolutely MAD. I would like to speak but will have trouble keeping civil.

Enid Donaldson
What a terrible idea. I thought what they allowed up at upper middle and Appleby was bad enough.

Ron Dennis
Back in the 1960s, when I covered Toronto Township, (Now Mississauga) for The South Peel Weekly, they had a tall building-loving planner known as Highrise Harry (Petschar). Looks like his ghost is lurking in Burlington city hall.

Iain Stubley Someone must be getting something in return some nice brown envelopes full of $$$$ and trips overseas … very sad how can those in power be so detached?

Linda Yvonne Johnson
How many historical buildings are going to be knocked over for this?? People from Oakville, Mississauga, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and beyond come to Burlington for our waterfront and the ambiance that exists in the downtown core. All of this w…See More

Frances C Iuticone
BIG NO. I live in the core. Traffic is unbearable now. I had no idea. Thanks for the info. I’m sharing to everyone

Barbara Hitsman
This is just terrible! I sure hope the city doesn’t let this plan go ahead! These are some lovely charming buildings!!😩😩😩👎🏼👎🏼👎🏼

Marie Grenier Davis
The same is happening in Aldershot, concrete and more concrete tall buildings are part of the plan.

Citizens will gather at city hall this afternoon and this evening to listen to the Planner defend the plans for the Downtown Mobility Hub and then listen to the council debate.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 comments to Burlingtonians put Facebook to work to get their opinions out – is anyone listening to them?

  • “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”


  • Having been a resident in Burlington since 1946, I’ve seen a lot of changes. Post war Burlington was tiny, friendly, happy and content with what we had – modest housing, a tight community and gratitude for having survived a terrible depression and another war. This new proposed plan, suggests cures for troubles we’ve created ourselves: traffic and transit problems, population density, housing- all this in difficult, legalese writing. If it were written in simpler terms it would show what the five councillors voted for was a huge jump in population- because we will have the housing for them in the hundreds of new condo buildings about to be built in every spare corner of the city, getting rid of Spencer Smith Park (!!) and other parks and replacing them with ‘corridors’ between the skyscrapers- forcing our aging population and everyone else to give up their cars and walk or bike around the downtown area by minimizing parking facilities. We’ve gotten ourselves into these problems by not paying enough attention to what was happening. We need to work together to fix them. If you want Burlington to continue to be your home attend council meetings, have your say and raise awareness with others of the madness that just might destroy the city we love. I suggest a plebiscite so the councillors know exactly how we feel.