Special meeting that no one got to watch- now we know why

By Pepper Parr

February 16th, 2024



Some movement on that Special Council Meeting that the public was not able to see on the webcast.

There was no information on the city website about a Special meeting of Council – even though the Mayor had advised her colleagues not to leave after the adjournment of a meeting of Council.

We waited to watch the webcast once the room has been “reset”.

When we saw nothing we reached out to Councillor Paul Sharman who assured us there was nothing much of interest.

We then reached out to the City Clerk.  The answer to the questions we asked is as follows:

The meeting after Council was a continuation of the closed session meeting that was entered into on January 12, 2024, with respect to the City Manager interviews and deliberations.

As per the motion, the notice provisions are waived for this meeting. A report out in open session is forthcoming.

First question is:  How long did the meeting last?

Second question is: Why do they need two days to report out on a meeting ?  That level of information is usually given when the come out of the CLOSED session.

City Manager Tim Commisso working his cell phone – Mayor Med Ward looking on – wondering perhaps?

We have suspected that the meeting was related to the position of city manager.   Tim Commisso is scheduled to leave at the end of June.  The interviewing process is currently taking place.

The City did send us the Minutes for the February 12th meeting.  How you date the minutes February 12 for a meeting that took place on the 14th is beyond us.

Those minutes are set out in their entirety:

Special Meeting of Council Minutes

Members Present:
Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, Kelvin Galbraith, Lisa Kearns, Rory Nisan, Paul Sharman, Angelo Bentivegna

Member Regrets: Shawna Stolte

Staff Present:Tim Commisso, Samantha Yew (Deputy Clerk), Sue Evfremidis, Richard Bellemare (Audio/Video Specialist), Debbie Hordyk

  Note: This City Council meeting was conducted using a hybrid model, allowing members of Council, city staff and delegations the option of participating remotely or in- person.

  1. Call to Order:
  2. Regrets:
  3. Land Acknowledgement:

The Chair read the land acknowledgement.

  1. Approval of the Agenda:

Moved by: Councillor Sharman Seconded by: Councillor Nisan

Approve the agenda as presented.


  1. Declarations of Interest:


      1. Delegations:
        • Jim Thompson spoke regarding City Manager Recruitment (HR-02-24)
      2. Items to be considered at the Special Meeting of Council:
      3. City Manager Recruitment (HR-02-24)

    Set out in blue below is the information we had to chase the Communication

Moved by: Councillor Bentivegna Seconded by: Councillor Kearns

That Council proceed into Special Council Closed Session meetings in January and February 2024, to conduct confidential interviews and deliberations related to the recruitment of the City Manager position pursuant to Municipal Act, 2001 sections:

239(2)(b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees, and

239(2)(k), a position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the municipality or local board; and

Direct the City Clerk to schedule Special Council Closed Session meetings as required to conduct confidential interviews and deliberations for City Manager position in the months of January and February pursuant to Municipal Act, 2001 sections:

239(2)(b) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees, and

239(2)(k), a position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the municipality or local board, and;

That this resolution satisfies the Closed Session meeting requirements set out in section 239(4)(a) of the Municipal Act, 2001 and Section 27.2 of the City’s Procedure By-law for any meetings scheduled for the purpose of City Manager interviews and deliberations; and

Waive the notice and agenda provisions of the Procedure By-law including sections 22.1, 24.5, 24.6 for all meetings called for the purpose of City Manager interviews and deliberations; and

Waive the Closed Session provisions of section 27.6 of the Procedure By- law to allow the result of these meetings be reported collectively out at future meeting of Council, where Chair will accept a motion regarding the matters discussed in the closed sessions, or alternatively advise that direction had been given to staff during the closed sessions in accordance with the Municipal Act.

IN FAVOUR: (6): Mayor Meed Ward, Councillor Galbraith, Councillor Kearns, Councillor Nisan, Councillor Sharman, and Councillor Bentivegna

CARRIED (6 to 0)

  • Motion to Receive and File Information Items:

Moved by: Councillor Nisan Seconded by: Councillor Galbraith

Receive and file information items, having been considered by Council:


 Delegation notes from Jim Thomson regarding City Manager Recruitment (HR-02-24)

  1. Motion to Confirm Proceedings of the Council Meeting:

Moved by: Councillor Sharman Seconded by: Councillor Galbraith

Enact and pass By-law Number 01-2024 being a by-law to confirm the proceedings of Special Council at its meeting held January 12, 2024 being read a first, second and third time.

IN FAVOUR: (6): Mayor Meed Ward, Councillor Galbraith, Councillor Kearns, Councillor Nisan, Councillor Sharman, and Councillor Bentivegna

CARRIED (6 to 0)

 Motion to Adjourn:

Moved by: Councillor Nisan Seconded by: Councillor Kearns

Adjourn this Council now to meet again at the call of the Mayor. 9:15 a.m. (recess), 9:17 a.m. (reconvene), 9:18 a.m. (adjourned)

Samantha Yew
Deputy Clerk

Marianne Meed Ward

Related news story:

Councillor Sharman assures the Gazette

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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Day of Reckoning for hockey heros - five players to be finger printed, mug shots taken when they are arrested

By Pepper Parr

January 25th, 2024



Five hockey players who were part of Team Canada’s 2018 squad that won gold at the world junior hockey championship have been invited to the London, Ontario police station where they will be arrested and charged with criminal offences.

It will be more than the five men before the Courts when the trials take place. A public that has tolerated the behaviour that took place in 2018 will also be on trial. There will be  all kinds of media coverage.

It appears that it is going to take a painful trial that could destroy the lives of five fine athletes to bring an end to sexual violence,

A large part of society has been prepared to put up with sexual assault and intimate partner violence. However we have, hopefully, arrived at the point where a tough criminal trial will give this practice the attention it needs and hopefully get to the point where behaviours change

A Halton Regional Police Deputy Chief told Burlington City Council during a virtual Council meeting that whenever he writes in his blog  about sexual assault and intimate partner abuse his readership drops,

People know these things happen – but far too many people take the “boys will be boys” attitude or “she must have done something”.

The London Police have said they will hold a news conference in early February about their investigation.

“We understand that there is significant public interest in relation to a sexual assault investigation dating back to 2018,”  They got that right.

The five hockey players have known for some time that there was likely to be a day of reckoning.  Their actual arrest, finger printing and mug shots being taken will be the first painful steps,

When the matter first came to public attention Hockey Canada blew the credibility they had right out of the water when they used funds that came from fees families paid for their children to play hockey in leagues across the country as a piggy bank to pay a 3.2 million dollar settlement to the victim who felt she could engage in consensual sex with one hockey player but not the other hockey players were brought into the hotel room during what was clearly a raucous event that became a “Debbie does Dallas” evening.

After a lot of bobbing and weaving by the Hockey Canada Board to avoid going public, solid newspaper investigative journalism brought the facts to the surface.

The federal government put a freeze on their funding; major sponsors withdrew their financial support.

It was messy, eventually the Hockey Canada Board was replaced and the London police, who had stopped investigating, took another look

Hopefully the trial will be another step in getting to the point where sexual assault and intimate partner violence are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.  Those who perpetrate this kind of behaviour will get the professional help they need to change their behaviour,

And if that doesn’t work then put them in jail again and again and again if that is what it takes.

Intimate partner violence is hidden because many people are just not prepared to talk about it – to approach someone and ask if they need help and if necessary talk to the police isn’t the way thew public behaves.  You are expected to mind your own business.

The Halton Region Police Service has a top notch team that know how to handle these situations.  They are there to help.

Pascale St-Onge, the minister of Canadian Heritage, the level of government that oversees sports, said she was happy to see the case progress.

“It’s very satisfying to see that the case continues to evolve,” said St-Onge. “We’ve been all waiting for a long time to hear about the consequences and what the next steps are. So we’re going to follow what’s happening in court and with the police and the ongoing investigations.

“But I think it’s a strong message also to send to the victims of sexual violence that it’s worth pushing forward and coming forward. And I again, want to salute the courage of the person who came forward.”

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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Outrageous isn't enough. Changes are needed before we run out of time

By Pepper Parr

January 16th, 2024



The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives started the new year with a bang: On January 2nd they launched their annual CEO pay report, Canada’s New Gilded Age, which reveals that Canada’s highest-paid 100 CEOs make 246 times more than the average worker.

Those 100 CEOs were paid an average of $14.9 million—setting a new all-time high. Top CEOs are making $7,162 per hour, meaning it only takes eight hours to make what the average worker earns after an entire year’s worth of work.

To look at the details click HERE.

That data is outrageous.

Certainly outrageous but also very dangerous.  The number of people earning those exceptionally high salaries while thousands are not certain they are going to be able to keep the homes they have been making mortgage payments on for a decade.  A society can’t function with this kind of imbalance.

The tax system gives the federal government the power to create a more level distribution of money.

But the government hasn’t been doing that.

Nor has the federal government been keeping the promises it made.

When Rogers took over Shaw the public was told that internet access and cell phone costs would not increase.

Remember when the federal government summoned all the heads of the supermarkets to Ottawa to demand that changes be made to the way food was being priced?

Have you seen anything positive done on either of those issues?

There comes a point when the public doesn’t want to put up with the failed promise delivery. Trust in government is diminishing.

If you want to understand what can happen when that trust disappears – just look south.

The CCPA report dominated the media market, garnering 2,195 media mentions in the first two weeks of January alone. That’s 48 per cent higher than last year.

Among those thousands of media hits, CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald spoke with the CBC’s As It Happens and continues responding to interview requests even today.

The CCPA maintain they are not just making an impact in the media, they argue that their research feeds movements: both the Council of Canadians and Lead Now have launched campaigns mobilizing Canadians to pressure the government for measures that would disincentivize extreme CEO compensation.

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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Has the Prime Minsiter walked away from the housing crisis?

By Pepper Parr

August 7th, 2023



While in Hamilton handing out federal funds last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there’s “simply not enough places for people to live” and said more initiatives like the one he was handing out money for are needed to create affordable housing in Hamilton.

Did Andrea Horwath, sitting beside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. hit him or is that band aid on his forehead something he get when the wife he is now separated from took a whack at him as she was walking out the door?

He also said: “Housing isn’t a primary federal responsibility, not something that we have directly carried out. But it is something that we can and must help with,”

It was a bit of a mixed message and a major disappointment for those who were expecting the federal government to be deeply involved in the housing crisis.

It was the federal government that made the decision to bring millions of people to Canada to help with the labour shortages. One would expect them to be quite a bit more than at the table when the housing needs were being worked through.

The federal government has the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in place; an organization that has led a number of very innovative and successful housing development initiatives across the country.

Is it too much to ask that someone- maybe the new Minister of Housing- to come up with a major initiative?

Sean Fraser being sworn in as Housing, Infrastructure and Communities 

He holds a law degree from Dalhousie University, a Master’s degree in Public International Law from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Science from St. Francis Xavier University. He represents Central Nova, a constituency in Pictou County in Nova Scotia.

Burlington MP Karina Gould reads her email – let her know what you think.

He has the smarts, what we need to know is – does he have an understanding of just how serious the housing situation is ?  One would hope that he realizes it is going to get worse before it gets better.

If he takes his que from the Prime Minister (Housing isn’t a primary federal responsibility) we then do have a problem.

Burlington has a Member of Parliament who is heard when she speaks in Caucus – pop her a note expressing your opinion. When an MP gets a couple of hundred emails – they respond. Karina Gould can be reached by email at  karina.gould@parl.gc.ca

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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Will the current or any future Mayor of the city actually use the Strong Mayor powers ?

By Pepper Parr

June 20th, 2023



Come Canada Day the Mayor of Burlington will have what are called Strong Mayor Powers.

Just in case you don’t understand what those powers are about, let me list them for you.

Strong mayor powers and duties include:
• Choosing to appoint the municipality’s chief administrative officer
• Hiring certain municipal department heads, and establishing and re-organizing departments
• Creating committees of council, assigning their functions and appointing the chairs and vice-chairs of committees of council
• Proposing the municipal budget, which would be subject to council amendments and a separate head of council veto and council override process
• Vetoing certain by-laws if the head of council is of the opinion that all or part of the by-law could potentially interfere with a provincial priority
• Bringing forward matters for council consideration if the head of council is of the opinion that considering the matter could potentially advance a provincial priority

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Is this a problem for Mayor Marianne Meed Ward? Or is it an opportunity? Hard to tell – she has said she doesn’t need them and never wanted them. Her statement as Chair of the Big City Mayors Organization was not as resounding as I would have liked it to be – but she was speaking for an organization.

Meed Ward has not gotten into the habit of doing interviews with media so there hasn’t been an opportunity to ask questions directly. To the best of our knowledge Mayor Meed Ward has never held a media event. She uses social media extensively and once said she had 17 points from which she can communicate with the community. They are all one way channels.

There is a scenario that could have Meed Ward using some of those new powers.

The province has said it needs to build 1.5 million new homes by 2031. The province doesn’t build homes, nor does a municipality. Homes are built by developers.

The city sets out the rules that developers have to adhere to.

One of the rules is to comply with the Official Plan which the developers aren’t very pleased with. So they appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal – those appeals take a considerable amount of time and the city tends to lose most of the appeals.

What the city has undertaken to do is build 29,000 new homes by 2031 – they signed a pledge with the province to do just that.

Application has been approved: Seven (7) residential towers on top of four (4) mixed use podiums. Overall heights ranging between 29 and 37 storeys. Podium heights ranging from 2, 5 and 6 storeys. A total of 2,494 residential units of mixed type and tenure. 3993 m2 of commercial space. 41, 821 m2 of shared amenity space. Five (5) levels of underground parking and a four (4) storey parking structure which will be integrated with the residential units. Pedestrian connections to the surrounding neighbourhood and Burlington GO Station.

City Council was successful in getting the Urban Growth Centre boundary moved north which pushed a lot of development north of Caroline and along Fairview where a very large development is planned. But there are no shovels in the ground yet.

Experts seem to agree there is no joy for developers in the rental market – the big bucks are in high end condos – not what Burlington needs.

With Strong Mayor powers would Meed Ward be able to get some of the badly needed housing built? Go back and look at the power she will have come Canada Day

The fear is not what Meed Ward would do – it is about what a future Mayor could do. There are two members of this Council who have said to me directly that they would like to be Mayor – both made the statements before they were halfway through their first term of office.

In the last election we saw a candidate with no local history, a campaign committee that consisted of a close friend with his home phone number as his campaign number to call. Given what little effort was put into the campaign he did remarkably well – and is understood to be ready for another campaign.

It would not be difficult for special interests to find a person, work with that candidate to build a public profile and pump thousands of dollars into the campaign.
Burlington has two habits that make something like this possible.

Voter turnout is traditionally low. In 2022, 27.6 per cent of eligible voters in Burlington voted in the municipal election; in the 2018 municipal election, 39.79 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot.

And, for the most part, most residents, are woefully ignorant at how important city hall is to the life they live.

Something to think about.

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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Intimate Partner Violence: Ending the epidemic can start with men saying to men: You cannot do that

By Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2023



Jeff Hill is a Deputy Chief with the Halton Regional Police Service.

Jeff Hill: Deputy Chief of Regional Operations Halton Regional Police Service where he oversees Regional Investigative Services (including Intimate Partner Violence, Frauds, Victim Services Unit, Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit, Intelligence, Forensic Identification, Drugs and Human Trafficking, Tech Crime, and Homicide)

He was one of several people who delegated at City Council recently on the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) incidents in Burlington.

He reported that last year the police responded to 3500 calls, 1346 of them came from Burlington. 341 arrests were made.

As of last week the police attended on 544 incidents so far this year.

It was numbers like this that brought the problem to council where they passed a resolution declaring that Intimate Partner Violence had reached epidemic levels.

Deputy Chief took the issue several steps further.

He said “the police alone are not the solution to this issue and we will not arrest our way out of this epidemic. If we don’t do something different, the problem will continue to grow.

“Intimate partner violence cannot be a private issue. We cannot be silent about the violence that is occurring. The resolution before you is a start but we must do something to raise community awareness and education on the surveillance of the issue with the necessity for a holistic approach from the community as a whole; one entity cannot do this alone.”

Hill made an additional comment that was chilling. After saying he was not a big social media participant he then said that whenever he tweeted about IPV, the number of people tuning in dropped.  “People don’t want to hear about the issue.”

Hill closed his delegation saying in “the last 40 years the Region alone has seen 22 women murdered at the hands of their partner, a woman was murdered every other year in our region alone. This absolutely has to stop.”

The Region has a 24 member intimate partner violence unit that responds to every call. The victims are supported and charges are laid. The police believe that they hear from about 30% of the women who are victims. The others live in fear believing that they will not be believed or supported.

The victims are one part of the issue – the men who beat their partners are the other side. Sending them to jail isn’t going to change the behaviour – that is not what jails do.

There has to be programs that work with men to change their behaviour. Having groups of men walk in women’s high heeled shoes does a little bit to bring the issue to public attention. I doubt very much that it changes behaviour.

Research has to be done to understand why men feel they can beat their partners. It is certainly an anger management problem – but I suspect there is much more than that to it.

Hill came close when he said there had to be “a holistic approach from the community”.

The shape and form that approach takes has yet to be determined. It can start with men saying to men: You cannot do that and then helping those that do get the help they need.

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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Too many Aldershot residents have chosen to be uninformed, uninvolved and have failed to hold the council member they elected accountable

By Pepper Parr

May 29th, 2023



Remembrance Day and The Battle of the Atlantic Sunday have always been important to me.

I was a Sea Cadet  as a youth and then served in the Canadian Navy – I was an Able Seaman aboard HMCS Haida that is now tied up in Hamilton.

In 1914 and 1939 we sent young men and women into war; thousands didn’t return and many of those who did, were damaged for life.

Hundreds gather at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day to honour those who served, remember those who did not return and treasure the democracy they defended.

Every November 11th, hundreds of Burlington residents gather at the Cenotaph to remember those we lost, honour their sacrifice and celebrate what we gained – we are a democratically fee nation.

We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we elect our representatives at the Federal, Provincial, Regional and Municipal levels. As a nation, we have fought to have the fundamental right to freely select those who will govern us. It is both our privilege and our responsibility to make informed choices and vote.

Over the last two weeks we have highlighted the way the Councillor for Burlington ward 1 manages his personal financial interests and the way he has chosen to represent the people who elected him.  We feel that he is unable to represent his constituents in an open and unbiased fashion. Despite our journalism efforts there is no indication from Kelvin Galbraith that there will be any change. He simply does not seem to understand his conflicted position. There also seems to be an equal problem with his constituents and opponents holding him accountable.

Kelvin Galbraith swearing an oath to serve his constituents.

In the 2022 municipal election the candidate in ward 1 did not tell the voters that he had been advised by the Integrity Commissioner that there would be occasions when he would have a Conflict of Interest due to the location of some of his business interests.  The other 2022 candidate in the ward became aware of the Integrity Commissioner’s report 11 days before the election but decided not to advise voters. To do so would not have been playing ‘dirty political games’ or ‘hitting below the belt’. Rather it was his duty to ensure that the constituents of ward 1 were properly informed before they made their choice. He failed to do so.

The information was made public by a resident who keeps a close eye on civic matters and has made repeated but unsuccessful efforts to hold Councillor Galbraith accountable. He has been confronted with apathy, indifference and, we believe, systemic incompetence.

What Burlington seems to have difficulty with is taking the time to ensure and insist that the men and women they elect are accountable and transparent. We wait until the situation becomes intolerable or uncomfortable, for whatever reason, and vote for wholesale replacements.  It is an all or nothing scenario repeated every 4 years. Or so it seems.

The Gazette has published five articles on election campaign donations.  Those articles have been read by thousands of people.  The Aldershot Insider, a Facebook page, carries a number of comments on the issue – non favourable to the Council member.

The Councillor for ward 1 has chosen not to comment and we were informed that he was advised to not respond.   It’s an old issues management truism that when you have a fiery issue you don’t provide it with oxygen. Stay silent and it will pass; people always forget.

And that is where we have a real problem. It appears that the truism is 100% true. The reason that our elected representatives are not transparent is that they don’t have to be. In fact, it’s a serious disadvantage to them if they are. The reason that they are not accountable is that we don’t hold them to account.

As citizens we need to exercise our democratic responsibilities – be informed, be actively involved and vote. In the final analysis, Galbraith is the self-made problem of the people of Ward 1.

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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The Conflict in ward 1 is within the Councillor who does not appear to fully understand his Oath to represent the people of Aldershot

By Pepper Parr

May 17th, 2023



Part 4 of a series

On the morning of October 20th, 2018 Kelvin Galbraith sent Tom Muir an email which Muir made available to us.

Fully two days before the election, Galbraith clearly described the way he saw himself as a candidate, as an Aldershot businessman and as a resident of Ward 1.

Although it is lengthy, we include the full text of the email because it is totally transparent and very clear.

“Hi Tom

“With regards to intensification in Aldershot, I have been consistent in my discussions with people that there is more coming and there is very little that this new council will be able to do in terms of stopping the progress. I have instead, taken the position that I will work with the developers—- to give our ward 1 residents what they have been missing – which is adequate retail and food operations.

“Currently the new official plan zones the south side of Plains road from Lasalle to Filmandale at 6 stories and the new mobility hub has a variation of zoning that allows for higher density as the distance from Plains increases. Currently very few candidates or past councillors have objected to this zoning as we will need to grow somewhere moving forward and have run out of green land in which to cover with urban sprawl. I have consistently said that our 6 story cap should be honoured on Plains road as these projects back on to our residential neighbourhoods.

“The new official plan changes at the Solid Gold site and allows for higher density (11 stories) due to its proximity to the GO station/mobility hub. I am uncomfortable with this height on Plains road but I want to be realistic with people and let them know that a project of that size, close to the mobility hub, will likely pass at council whether I vote for it or not.

“Should council not approve that project specifically, then I’m sure that the new LPAT ( OMB) will certainly overriding our councils decision as they have many times in the past. (The OMB became LPAT which in turn became the Ontario Land Tribunal)

“Currently national homes has already filed with LPAT for the bingo hall site to protect their plans from the new council presumably.

“What I have been advocating for during this campaign is for better retail options on Plains road. Having chaired the Aldershot BIA for the past 11 years, we have seen a diminishing retail sector. Every new development promises main floor retail and when it’s complete we release just how small and inadequate it really is. I want to fight for larger store sizes, better parking options, and more food operations (grocery, restaurant, pub and coffee shop). Zoning that requires food operations can be implemented into specific sites as I have learned from meetings with Marianne Meed Ward. We need more vibrant spaces for Aldershot residents to socialize and typically food operations are where this is done. I live here too and most of my extended family does as well. We all see the void in entertainment here. Especially in the west end of Aldershot.

E is the property owned by Emshih Developments; A is where the Gym Firm Galbraith owns is located; D and C are properties owned by Galbraith; Bis is a garage.

“With regards to my business property on Plains road and Waterdown road, I have been transparent with people for years. Our land is surrounded by one developer and we have agreed to work with him at such a time when he chooses to develop his property. Our business would be included in a new space within the site. We signed a letter of intent only and have not sold any property as rumours may indicate. Many years may pass still before anything may happen.

“You are correct is saying that I would need to declare a conflict of interest with any developments that include these properties specifically. In the grand scale of all the developable land in ward 1, this piece would represent a very small parcel so I don’t think that it should hinder my ability to serve the constituents in an effective manner on all that may happen in this ward.

“I have already read your supporting letter to Marty Staz where you denounced myself and Judy for our links to developers. I only have my signs on the Station West development as I am actively trying to push him to build us a west end grocery store. If I am elected or not, I will still be working on this issue as my volunteer position with the Aldershot BIA. I just feel that I will have more abilities and a stronger voice as councillor of Ward 1.

“As I have stated in my website and literature, I live here and work here, I know the issues. I have spoken to the public about them both in my business for the past 20 years and canvassing for the past 3 months. I want Aldershot to be a better place to live and am willing to fight for that.

“Thank you for reaching out to me.”

This is about is as honest as it can get; Galbraith is to be commended for setting out his position the way he did. I only wish Muir had shared it is as soon is as he got it. It puts things in perspective and explains a great deal of what Kelvin Galbraith is; not a dishonest man but one who has not understood the considerable difference between private businessman and public official.

The two roles or persona are not incompatible and one can argue that Galbraith’s business experience is a valuable asset as a Councillor. But when ‘in office’ that public role must dominate and shape how one views the world. It is a service function with the primary objective being making the best possible decisions for the community of citizens that one represents – not being the voice of a particular interest group.

The problem now for Galbraith is that a number of developers have chosen to make significant donations to his 2022 election campaign – so much so that he has come to be seen as their spokesman and not well aligned to the broader interests of his Ward.

That is not a good place for a City Councillor

The targeted funding Galbraith has received will soon become barnacles on the public view of his ability to effectively represent them; to his ability to understand and further the broad spectrum of interests and concerns in the community. Barnacles can be removed and Galbraith still has some time to change the perception. The question then is: Does he want to change how many people see him and does he know how?

Galbraith sees himself as a good business man who understands retail economics and has networked with the commercial sector. He got into politics, we believe, because he felt he could make a difference and draw some of the commercial activity he believes Aldershot needed and still needs. Eleven years on the local Business Improvement Association will do that to you; but five years sitting around the Council horseshoe table will temper your expectations and dull the enthusiasm.

Kelvin Galbraith being sworn in after being elected in October of 2022

The minute Kelvin Galbraith raised his right hand while taking the Oath of Office he became a different man with a different constituency that he swore he would serve.

I don’t believe Galbraith set out to be the shill for the developers. He saw himself as someone who could get things done and the Ward 1 electorate agreed – twice.

However, in the final analysis, the developers did not elect him. They simply recognized a kindred spirit and conscripted him to support their objectives and their community of interest. Galbraith represented an opportunity and they gladly took advantage.

Galbraith may ‘change his spots’ but it’s rather unlikely. He is not comfortable in a very complex role and does not recognize the inherent conflict. However, the citizens of Ward 1 should recognize the conflict and act accordingly.

They need to hold their Councillor accountable for his actions and his relationships.

They need to take responsibility for being informed.

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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Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre is expected to be in the Legislature on Monday - how will she react to medical service people in Public Gallery ?

By Pepper Parr

May 5th, 2023



Next Monday a large group of people who oppose what the provincial government wants to do to the health system we have will do their best to fill parts of the Public Gallery in the Legislature .

Natalie Pierre speaking at Queen’s Park

While the group sits in the Gallery Natalie Pierre will be in her seat and when there is a vote she will stand and vote with the government and I wonder how she will feel.

I met with Natalie for a very short period of time during the election.  I was impressed – there was a sense of empathy that I felt during the short period of time I was able to talk with her.

There was supposed to be a longer follow up interview with Natalie but her handlers made sure that didn’t happen.

Natalie was new to the game and chose to follow directions rather than follow her instincts and inquire.

Her years at Sheridan College, where she worked in Human Relations, was a time when she developed the ability to listen.

I find myself wondering what Natalie will think is as she glances at the people in the Gallery and wondering if she will ask herself: Am I serving those people or am I one of a number of people in this place, here to support a government that I am a part of ?

The woman who represented Burlington before Natalie was elected didn’t have the ability to understand what people wanted or needed.  She was an MPP looking out for herself.

The sense I gained when I talked to Natalie was that she was genuine; real and capable of knowing what people needed.

I expect Natalie will vote with the government knowing full well that to not vote will kill and chance she might have to grow is as a legislator.

My early sense was that this one was different.

There has not been an opportunity to interview Natalie since she was elected. Whatever her office sends out to media doesn’t come our way.

It has been our practice to publish the maiden speech of every member of both Parliament and Queen’s Park.  We were in touch with Natalie’s office asking if they would let us know when she was to speak.

We didn’t hear from her office then and you didn’t get to hear what she had to say.

So far the voice of Natalie Pierre has not been that strong.

We understand that some people, elected to serve the public, aren’t comfortable with the way we report events.  Their job is not to be comfortable but to be available to accredited media.

Were we to publish puff pieces often enough we would be made very welcome.

Our approach it to work at doing our best to inform the public so that they can make informed decisions.

Going forward we will work a little harder at getting through to Natalie Pierre.

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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Is the current strike of federal government employees really necessary ? Just 35% of the union membership voted for the strike

By Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2023



The right to strike is fundamental.

Members of a union have the right to vote on a strike decision – tell their leadership that they will walk off the job, pick up picket signs and demonstrate.

Union members demonstrating to support their wage demands. Negotiators meet but no solution in sight. Public might have to sweat this one out.

And that they are prepared to forgo their wage and live on strike pay.

And that’s what happened last week.

It was late in the week when the public learned that something in the order of 35% of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) voted to strike and of that 35% – 80% voted to walk off the job.

That walk out shuts down public services across the country – the xx to the public is severe. Passport office stops functioning, revenue, the people who process your tax returns won’t be working and the tax deadline is May 1st.

Is it responsible of the union to pull everyone off the job with a 35% vote?

The signal it sends to the government is that the union support isn’t all that strong – so they too will wait it out.

The government doesn’t have to meet a payroll – we the public have to put up with zip in terms of service.

This strike will end, the government will decide to pass return to work legislation – a little awkward with the government needing the support of the New Democrats to get the legislation passed.

People working for the public service deserve a fair wage and the federal government has the responsibility to take better care of their relationship with the unions.

The situation gets a little muddied when the federal labour relations board raised “significant concerns” about “major irregularities” in the strike vote by 120,000 federal public servants, but has ruled the issues would not have changed the results.

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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Nick Leblovic is no longer fit for office - he should be removed from the Committee of Adjustments.

By Pepper Parr

April 20th, 2023      



Janice Atwood

Janice Atwood, a Principles Integrity partner, acquitted herself very well earlier this week when she reported to city Council on the report she had written on a complaint sent to the Integrity Commissioner related to the behaviour of a member of the Committee of Adjustment (CoA).

Council listened to the CoA member Nick Leblovic as he explained what he had done and both challenged the conclusion reached by the Integrity Commissioner and impugned the reputation of the professional planner who was representing the complainant.

During his delegation, Leblovic claimed that the whole investigation, which he estimated to have taken 50 hours at $235 per hour, would have been unnecessary had the Integrity Commissioner agreed to meet with him and discuss the complaint. In fact, Ms. Atwood did invite Mr. Leblovic to meet but received no response to her invitation. She notes that the extensive correspondence and responses Leblovic sent the Integrity Commissioner and which seemed to be his preferred method of communicating “articulated fully and unequivocally his perspective, his position and his views, rendering an interview unnecessary. As a result, all of our communications were in writing.”

He went on to argue during his presentation to Council that hearsay evidence was admissible and that he could introduce new evidence when he thought it was relevant.

Nick Leblovic

This was Leblovic in full flight and in his usual form – the kind of performance that was seen and experienced at the Waterfront Advisory Committee that Leblovic chaired until the city sunset the committee.

Members of that Waterfront Advisory will well remember Leblovic’s chairmanship. I recall one member swearing that if Leblovic continued with his behaviour he would “punch him in the face”.

Leblovic tends to draw that kind of response from people.

He served in a senior position on the Meed Ward run for Mayor in 2018 and again in 2022 – he was one of the very few (some think that together with his wife, the only core member) that carried over from 2018 to 2022.

The relationship with Leblovic was so tight that the Integrity Commissioner had to advise the Mayor that she did have a Conflict of Interest forcing her to give up the gavel and let the Deputy Mayor handle a portion of the City Council meeting.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Leblovic is a citizen who has been active in local politics for decades, he was believed to be very close to former Mayor Cam Jackson who was instrumental in getting Leblovic on the Waterfront Advisory Committee

Waterfront Advisory committee before City council voted to shut the committee down. From left to right: Nick Leblovic, Michael O’Sullivan, Ken Harris, Jeff Martin, Donna Ankrett, and Gary Scobie. 

There comes a point when the grey beards need to sit on the sidelines and let those who are not past their “best before date” run the show.

The greatest surprise in this whole mess was the recommendation put forward by the Integrity Commissioner – not suspension, not removal but a voluntary couple of hours of training for everyone on a City Board or Commission. How does this either fit the offence or reflect the lack of contrition that Mr. Leblovic so obviously demonstrated?

It contrasts so jarringly with the decision made by the Integrity Commissioner on the Shawna Stolte matter, where she was docked five days pay, that one shakes their head in disbelief. The Integrity Commissioner made the point, after the decision had been sent to Council, that had they known Stolte was not in the least contrite the penalty would have been more severe.

While Stolte took the position that she did what she did was a matter of principle for her, which would not excuse her, she never challenged the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commissioner to adjudicate and she did nothing to denigrate the Office of the Integrity Commissioner. Can the same be said for Mr. Leblovic?

It is our view that Nick Leblovic is no longer fit for office and the responsible thing to do would have been to remove him from the Committee of Adjustment.

Related news stories:

Nick Leblovic gets to tell his story.
Integrity Commissioner teaches Councillors just what a Conflict of interest is
Integrity Commissioner refutes statements Leblovic makes

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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Election campaign finance reports hard to find on city web site

By Pepper Parr

April 15th, 2023



The words accountability and transparency get banged about like a ping pong ball – but little respect from some senior administrative staff and just about every member of Council. They mouth the words but there is little in the way of meat on the bones of their statements.

The swearing in of a new council is the process that transfers power to newly elected Council members. They swear to be accountable and transparent.

Elections are critical: they are actually a transaction between the public and those running for public office. The voters give the power they have – a ballot and use it to transfer their power to the people seeking public office.

The city administration, in this case the City Clerk overseen the elections, makes sure the ballot are properly counted and issues a statement declaring the winner for the Office of Mayo and the Council member for each ward.

Sometime after the election the City Clerk releases the financial statements each candidate is required to file. Those statements were due to be released on March 31st.

Detailed election finance reports are behind this file on the city web site. Go figure.

Try to find them on the city web site.  They are there but difficult to find – we had to work with the City Communications department to figure out just where the documents were posted.

Unfortunately, and unfairly the Communications people are taking the hits for this dumb situation. We believe it is the City Clerk’s responsibility to ensure that the information is made public and easy to find.

Executive Director Jackie Johnson

Both the City Clerk and the Director of Communications report to the city’s newest Executive Director Jackie Johnson; she might want to invite Kwab Ako-Adjei and Kevin Arjoon in for coffee and explain to them that they first have to cooperate and then exactly what she means by accountability, transparency and open government.

The Gazette is in the process of reviewing all the financial returns and doing an analysis of how much money each candidate raised and where the money came from.

Accountability, transparency and Open Government.

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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Engagement has become malodorous - city hall doing stinky stinky

By Pepper Parr

September 7th, 2020



It would appear that City Manager Tim Commisso and citizen Stephen White have different views on professional courtesies.

White was told that the Staff Report going to Council for the September 14th meeting of the CSSRA – Corporate Service, Strategy, Risk and Accountability would include his report as an Addendum and that if he wanted to delegate he would have to register.

Note something that happens in polite households – and if Burlington is anything – it is polite

He adds that “ If they sit on it until the 14th, and don’t release it before, then in fairness they should have advised Julie and I as a professional courtesy.”

So far the promised report has not been seen by anyone we know.

The city certainly has its own definition of “engagement” – something you talk about when it is to your advantage but neglect when it has an odour that isn’t going to pass the smell test.

This is not what the bulk of the people in Burlington think their city is about.

Some people at city hall need to change their diaper.

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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Who is going to hold the debates that give the people of Burlington a chance to see who wants their vote

By Pepper Parr

August 23rd, 2022



The Roseland Community Organization (RCO) is hosting a debate that will involve the ward 4 candidates and the people running for the office f Mayor.

And good on them for taking this on.

In 2010 the Gazette sponsored a debate for the ward six candidates – there were eight or nine of them. It went well but it required a lot of work and ate up time we just didn’t have.

In 2018 ECOB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington sponsored debates in all six wards during which the city saw some of the biggest turnouts for a political event in several decades.

ECOB filled the Baptist Church on New Street during the 2018 election debates.

ECOB’s Penny Hersh did the bulk of the work to make those happen.

Other than the Roseland Group – who else is going to step up and arrange for debates in their wards ?

Are there service clubs that could take this on ? Sponsoring a debate is not a political activity – it is a civic decision to put in motion an event that gives people a chance to inform themselves.

Ward 2 and 3 both badly need a debate as does ward 5 now that Paul Sharman has to run for office instead of being acclaimed.

There were some interesting comments made by Gazette readers on the story we ran of the RCO announcement

One reader wrote: Roseland Community Group is a group of homeowners, who show interest and take pride in their community. There is no reason why other communities cannot form the same type of organizations.

Another wrote:  The problem I have is, who is the Roseland Community Organization? Who are the members? Are any candidates” a member or affiliate with them? Did any of the members of the ROC help or donate to any of the candidates’ campaigns? If so, isn’t that a conflict of interest? and how do we know it will be fair and impartial. Even the venue is suspect, do any of the candidates belong to the church? Who is going to moderate the debate and come up with the questions? Hopefully it’s not Mr. Parr because we know he mentions Shawna in every article he writes. What experience does the ROC have in running a political debate?

All this reader had to do was spend five minutes on the RCO web site and his concerns would disappear.  Suggesting that using a church would be a conflict – Really?

The same reader went on to say that RCO “hasn’t truly thought this out and don’t have a lot of experience with a political debate. I mean the can’t even figure out how candidates answer questions and alphabetical order is not that fair i mean 1 person always has the first word and 1 person always has the last word.. I would suggest that they have a predetermined order to answer each question determined buy random draw now isn’t that fair.

The level of political naivety and sophistication is so disappointingly low in Burlington.

One can only wish that each community had organizations like the Roseland Community Organization.

Until that happens – would the people in each ward look for a way to hold a debate in their community.

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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Catamarans to race off the Beachway Saturday and Sunday

By Staff

August 19th, 2022



This is how the races are won.

This is how the races are won.Catamarans slip through the water so quickly with the boat often resting on just one of the pontoons – they are a delight to watch.

On Saturday and Sunday they will be holding a regatta to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

The races will take place off the shores of the beautiful Burlington Beach park, just east of the Lift Bridge in Burlington.

SAT. AUG. 20 & SUN. AUG. 21, 2022, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Lined up along the beach ready to slip into the water

They are expecting 50 catamaran sailboats and about 100 sailors (2 sailors per boat) to race over these two days, mainly drawing from our own club members and other racers from clubs primarily in southern Ontario and as far away as Sarasota, Florida, USA.

There will be a lot of exciting activity on and off the beach this Saturday and Sunday.

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Will she or won't she? Calderbank has days left to file nomination papers

By Pepper Parr

August 16th, 2022



Is she or isn’t she?

Charismatic, competitive – ready for big time politics locally?

Is Kimberly Calderbank going to run for the office of Mayor?

If she is – and at this point we don’t know – her recent LinkedIn piece could have been read any number of ways.

Calderbank considers herself a strong strategic thinker – is her game plan to wait for the very last minute and then announce giving her some almost immediate momentum ?

The last half of August is always a quiet time; the pace will quicken as soon as the Labour Day holiday is over.

Calderbank was identified as the “developers” candidate in 2018 when she ran for the ward 2 council seat.

She wasn’t trounced but she certainly didn’t win.

The Gazette interviewed Calderbank during the 2018 election; we weren’t all that impressed.

It could easily be taken as a political statement.

We heard a young woman who certainly had career aspirations but not much more than that say she wanted to be Mayor but didn’t appear to have much in the way of a plan or a vision for the city.

She runs a successful private marketing business and has several media related jobs.

She serves as the media point person fo the Halton Region Police Services Board as well as the Ontario Police Services Board.

One of her clients is the Food4Life non-profit organization where we learned a number of months ago that they had contingency plans in place for marketing support in the event that Calderbank filed nomination papers.

We certainly got h impression from that source that Calderbank was going to be a candidate – and it wasn’t going to be for a Council seat.

She has very strong support with several families that could and would put a lot of weight behind a campaign.

She has a very good working relationship with Cogeco.

All the pieces needed to launch an election campaign exist.

It could happen – but it has to happen before 2:00 pm on Friday the 19th – that is when nominations close.

Should Calderbank run for the office of Mayor it will be one heck of a race.

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.

Related new content

Kimberly in her own words


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Is this what the next city council will look like ?

By Pepper Parr

August 9th, 2022



In ten days we will know who the candidates for city council are going to be and have a pretty good idea what the next council is going to look like as well.

Kelvin Galbraith: Could be in trouble

Ward 1 was a given.  Kelvin Galbraith has a high school teacher campaigning against him thinking that he can continue as a high school teacher and serve as a council member at the same time.

There appears to be a change. Robert Radway now realizes that he can get a leave of absence from the Board of Education but that will not apply to his first year as a Councillor. Radway said he has a plan in place that will allow him to perhaps do some teaching and still serve as a member of Council.

Lisa Kearns: Probably has the finest mind on this council – needs to work on some issues.

Lisa Kearns should prevail in ward 2 – candidates do keep coming out of the wood work but Kearns has earned the right to a second term.  A real race for the seat will test Kearns in a way that will make her very uncomfortable but she will be better for it.

Rory Nisan has proven to be a disappointment for many – apparently not those working with him for re-election and certainly not for the Mayor.  She now has a new lap dog.

Rory Nisan: biggest disappointment

Jennifer Hounslow has a chance but she is pushing a rock up a hill – but Councillors that disappoint consistently do lose.   and on that level Rory Nisan has proven to be a disappointment.  The Gazette supported Nisan in 2018 – mentored him a little, urged him to get a copy of the Procedural bylaw and know it well.  He certainly did that – took a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner that found Stolte had broken a rule.

Shawna Stolte should retain her seat.  There are those who have issues with the Integrity Commissioners reports and the sanctions they handed out – the Gazette will comment on just what that is all about in the near future.

Paul Sharman will be acclaimed in ward 5.

Angelo Bentivegna faces a stiff contender.  His less than 50 seat plurality in 2018 and the serious dissatisfaction on the part of a lot of people in Millcroft over the attempts to build on golf course land have not helped.

Rick Greenspoon has his work cut out for him but he seems more than able to take the seat.

While there are many that don’t like what Mayor Meed Ward has delivered – Anne Marsden just does not have what it takes to be a Mayor.

What she might manage to do is significantly reduce the Meed Ward vote enough to smarten up Marianne.

These are the people you elected in 2018. Time to think about how many you want to serve you again.

So what will that deliver?

Meed Ward as Mayor

Galbraith in ward 1

Kearns in ward 2

Ward 3 could be a surprise

Stolte in Ward 4

Sharman in ward 5

Greenspoon in ward 6

We might want to revise these suggestions after nominations close.

In the weeks ahead we will interview and spend time with each of the candidates.

The options will be clearer on the 19th which is when nominations close.

There is a hope out there that Kimberly Calderbank will take a run at the Office of Mayor.  Calderbank  is a strong strategist and there are some very respectable people who will support her.

The process of filing a nomination is cluttered – you have to make an appointment with the city Clerk.  Should Calderbank file papers the news will have been flashed to the Mayor before the ink is dry on her papers.

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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Is there another candidate for the Office of Mayor in the wind? Could be

By Pepper Parr

July 14th, 2022



It is rare, exceedingly rare for a person with little political experience to run for the office of Mayor and win – but it does and has happened.

Will this piece of Burlington bling be placed on a different neck before the end of the year ?

Burlington’s race for the office of Mayor is seen by many as a walk in the park for Marianne Meed Ward.

That could change – there is a potential candidate that could be preparing for a run.

If it takes place it will be well funded – and it will not be a pro-developer candidate.

This individual is young, successful in the commercial world and very well connected in the administrative world.

The Gazette has spoken to a number of people, some of them called us, asking what we knew.

There are some very prominent people who want nothing but the best for the city who have come to the conclusion that Meed Ward is not up to the job that has to be done.

This is not the place to set out where Meed Ward has fallen short – this is the time to look around and ask – can we do better than this. ?

We can

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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What will Doug do first? Didn't take long to find out. Took care of his people

By Pepper Parr

June 27th, 2022



A few days after the re-election of Doug Ford as Premier of the province we suggested that we would know within 60 to 90 days what kind of a Premier he was going to be this second time around.

It didn’t take anywhere near that long.

On the day he was sworn in by the Lt Governor he then had his Cabinet sworn in – that included his nephew (his sisters son) Michael Ford as Minister of Culture and Tourism.

Doug Ford was a proud man as he shook the hand of Michael Ford, his nephew, the day he was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister

Doug Ford was a very proud man when he shook Michael’s had effusively.

What the public was seeing was a naked act of nepotism.

Family matters and the Ford family has had its share of grief.  Some good news would be welcome and adding to the list of political achievers would be a welcome change.

Rob Ford wasn’t able to handle the job of being Mayor of Toronto – his early death was a blow to the way the family saw itself.

Michael Ford got himself a seat on the Toronto District School Board – we didn’t see much, if anything, in the way of achievement or change in the way schools were administered.

Ok – it takes time to get the hang of public service. The opportunity to take the council seat for the community opened itself up and because the Ford family owned the fealty of that community he was a shoe in.

Nor much in the way of achievement on city council – no one every described the young man as a comer – someone to be watched.

Did anyone ever suggest spending some time in a gym to the young mam?

Michael Ford dismissed any suggestion that nepotism played a role in his appointment, saying he has served on the school board and council in one of the city’s most diverse areas.

His decision to run for the provincial seat was no surprise.  It was an opportunity and the young man took it.

For his uncle to make the decision to put his nephew in Cabinet was a stunner.  Give him a year to find his way and then make him a parliamentary secretary and see how he handles the job would have been acceptable.

But to drop him into Cabinet where the best he can expect is a divisiveness from those Cabinet members who have both the smarts and the cahoneys to perform well in very hard jobs.  That along with the protection of his uncle

Ford has made it clear – he is going to take care of his people – all they have to do is call – and they will be calling.

Learning to defend a government is something Natalie Pierre is going to have to get used to.

What is this going to mean to Burlington?  Think the Escarpment – especially the space between the urban boundary – the Dundas – Hwy 407 line and Side Road 1.

Will the newly elected MPP Natalie Pierre be able to convince the Premier that permitting any development north of the urban boundary is a mistake?

She will be alongside Michael Ford learning the ropes.  What little the public has seen of the woman is just not enough to have an understanding of what she might be capable of.

The days ahead for the city could be dark days indeed.

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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What political future awaits the citizens of Burlington?

By Pepper Parr

June 12th, 2022



If Paul Sharman does not wander down to city hall before August 19th, Marianne Meed Ward will be returned as Mayor in the October election.

Mayoralty candidate Annn Marsden will surprise people with the number of votes she gets but she will not be the Mayor.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Paul Sharman, Councillor

Anne Marsden

Sharman certainly likes the idea of being Mayor and it would be one heck of a way to end a political career. But Paul Sharman is cautious, especially when it relates directly to his personal interests.

He has to decide if he wants to watch Meed Ward whittle away some of the gains that have taken place.

He has a vision for the city but isn’t yet at the point where he can advocate for and speak to that vision. It probably has some rough edges yet.

The challenge for Paul Sharman is deciding what kind of a mark he wants to make before his political career comes to an end.

Will he go for the brass ring and be known as someone who took a risk and made Burlington a different and better place ?

Or will he settle for having been a four term council member and retiring – to what?

There is a lot riding on the decision Sharman makes.

There are three other members of the current council that harbour dreams of becoming Mayor – a lot of growing left to be done for all three – a meeting with a guidance counsellor in the near future for at least one

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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