Candidate for Mayor releases part of his platform; hearing a real estate agent promote more affordable housing is refreshing.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 15, 2014



Longtime Burlington resident and businessman Peter Rusin isn`t letting any grass grow under his feet. He came out very strongly this morning with a media release in which he set out the issues as he sees them and the platform he will run on as he seeks to gain the office of Mayor.

Rusin walking briskly

Peter Rusin wants more for the city he loves – is challenging Mayor Rick Goldring for the office of Mayor.

Rusin has no political experience but has recruited some top talent from Queen`s Park who are structuring his campaign. He expect to be fully operational by the middle of the week and will be relentless in his drive to replace Rick Goldring as Mayor of Burlington.

A late addition to the race, Rusin said he “made the decision to run because he believes Burlington needs stronger leadership and fresh ideas.”

“Burlington is an incredible city that is at a crossroads,” said Rusin. “We need to grow, and yet also maintain the green space and elements of that smaller town feeling we all know and love. Our infrastructure is weak, though, and our current leadership does not seem to be able to get the job done.”

Rusin’s key priorities are:

Smart city growth and infrastructure development;
• Desperately needed affordable housing;
• Better quality of life for the people of Burlington;
• Maintain a balance of smart urban planning and growth and green space preservation and growth;
• Open, accountable government at City Hall.

“It’s time for a mayor who can look at new and different ways to fund infrastructure improvements in Burlington. A mayor who brings a solid business background, a love of this city and a new, fresh way of thinking to the mix,” Rusin said. “We cannot accept the status quo as good enough. We can do better.”

Mayor Goldring is completing his first term as Mayor and for the most part has had a pretty easy ride.  He recently said he would be happy if every member of the current council was re-elected – a rather astonishing statement when one member of his council is facing 9 people who want her job. 

Mayor Goldring picking up donation in the Santa Claus parade - met with other GTA Mayors to pick up provincial finds to help with the ice storm damage.  Maybe he should have taken the hockey stick and the sock with him?

Mayor Goldring picking up donation in the Santa Claus parade one year.  His first term performance was OK – others want more than just OK.

The city isn’t agog with the Mayor they have – he was a nice guy doing his best – but beneath that Burlington politeness was a sense that “nice” wasn’t getting the job done and that there was no sense that Burlington was really doing very well when many people thought it should be doing much better.  It looked as if the Mayor was going to get a pass and be returned to office without ever having to defend the positions he took.

That all changed last Thursday.  Now the city has an incumbent and a challenger – and citizens will get to hear and test the opinions of two men who both care about their city and see how they would run it for the next four years.

Peter Rusin will be out and about a great deal over the next few weeks to shake hands and let the people of Burlington know who he is and what he will bring to City Hall.  Expect the Mayor to have called his campaign team together over the weekend and told them to get a campaign going – quickly.



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3 comments to Candidate for Mayor releases part of his platform; hearing a real estate agent promote more affordable housing is refreshing.

  • Ken

    This is an issue with all our cities.
    Instead of speculating how he will implement this plan, just ask him.
    Then you can stand on a more solid ground on judging his trust and motives.

  • James

    Glenda, your mistake is the same mistake many people make, and your lack of trust of the development industry is entirely misplaced. Ontario’s Places To Grow mandates that each municipality, including Burlington, must grow its population by leaps and bounds within a certain timeframe. That’s the Ontario government’s plan, not real estate agents, not developers, and not City Hall. City Hall MUST comply with Provincial legislation, which is why you see developments such as the Ghent Avenue being approved, and in fact encouraged. This is only the beginning.

    The anti-development movement despised urban sprawl, and through its valiant efforts was successful in stopping it by convincing the Provincial government to introduce the Greenbelt Plan. Perhaps an oversight by some, this may turn into a case of “be careful what you wish for”. While urban sprawl has stopped, the growing population has not, and they need to go somewhere. Enter Places to Grow.

    Re-development of the existing urban area has begun, and increased density, building heights, and traffic are the way of the future in Burlington, and all communities within the GTA. If we think NIMBY-ism is bad now, just wait, we haven’t seen anything yet.

    Burlington, despite it’s many positives, is behind the curve. We are not ready for the growth that must occur. Many of us moved here to get away from the hustle and bustle of the GTA, but just look how much has changed even just over the last 10 years. Traffic is already disastrous on many roads during the rush hour period, roads are crumbling away, the sewer system may need upgrades to handle the growing number of severe rainfall events, but with no new economic development taking place, our City is not making any money to support infrastructure improvements. Where is that money going to come from? Unbeknownst to most, our property taxes are several years from skyrocketing if something doesn’t change soon. Former City Manager Jeff Fielding did the math, and saw the writing on the wall. He even warned Council, but not much if anything has been done… yet. Status quo will not make this problem go away. Burlington cannot bury its head in the sand forever. It’s time to stand up and face reality.

    Whether Peter Rusin is the person for the job, I don’t know, but we do need someone with vision, who can make the difficult, and often times unpopular decisions that will determine our city’s success or failure over the coming years. Let’s open our minds a little, listen to what the candidates have to say, and choose our mayor based on their merits and abilities, not based on a bias against a job title.

  • Glenda Dodd

    Don’t trust a real estate broker running under the guise of affordable housing…in short squeeze as many houses as we can into clients real estate holdings as possible…i.e. more of Ghent Avenue 58 houses where once stood……. what about six homes. Who is being fooled here, read his Royal LePage web site, sorry I don’t trust his motive, not one bit, and the blurb about green space, the only green space he see’s is that which can be developed with more houses…oh yes, he talks about affordable housing…ya…right…so people holding a house or a few houses on large lots can now cash in on their investments and squeeze five houses on a lot that use to hold one….sure….don’t trust his motive, not one bit.