Chamber of Commerce fails to provide adequate access to disabled Anne Marsden; mayor gives a peek at his economic development thinking - privately.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 17, 2014



It was a “sold out” event.

It was also an embarrassing occasion when the Chamber of Commerce was not able to provide a way for mayoralty candidate Anne Marsden to join Mayor Goldring and Peter Rusin on the stage. She had to sit at the side of the raised platform because of a disability that makes it very difficult for her to mount steps.

One would have expected the Chamber of Commerce to realize that Marsden needed access to the platform – they invited her to the event.  This lack of understanding, appreciation and concern for those who have a disability and need different access than the rest of us has been Anne Marsden point for years.  Shameful that the Chamber of Commerce would fail at this level.

NGTA All the arrows

Possible routes for an NGTA highway – the blue one put a shiver into the bones of Burlington and the Region.

Rusin repeated his concern with the Mayor’s approach to economic development and said a new highway was an inevitability which moved Councillor Taylor to send out an email saying: “ Mayoral Candidate Peter Rusin today, at the Chamber of Commerce debate, called for the divisive Niagara to GTA Highway process to begin again with the support of City Council.

Best Green arrow map

That faint yellow arrow heads straight for the heart of Burlington’s Escarpment country.

“Please spread the word to all Rural residents. We need strong continued leadership on this issue and the Mayor and I need your continued support to send a strong message to Council.

Mayor Goldring is reported to have said to Rusin after the debate that he shared Rusin’s view but that there was no way he could say that politically.Goldring is reported to have said he shared Rusin’s view on the inevitability of an NGTA highway but that there was no way he could say that politically.

Rusin’s position appears to be that the city needs to work with the province and work out a solution that resolves the provinces problem of moving traffic and gives the city the economic development resources it needs.

Rusin point out that there was a time when the #1 side road was the rural boundary but that that changed when highway 407 was built. Rusin appears to want to see commercial development on the north side of that highway.

Rusin said after the debate that he could not see a highway ever coming through Kilbride and Lowville and while the province has put any development work on hold – that road is the major one on the table.

This is the first time anyone has heard that the Mayor has an opinion on what Burlington needs in terms of roads and the economic development needs.


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5 comments to Chamber of Commerce fails to provide adequate access to disabled Anne Marsden; mayor gives a peek at his economic development thinking – privately.

  • Peter Rusin

    I agree with Susan McMaster and the active initiatives and future plans of the Big Move.

    However, the province has already invested and continues to invest in the Big Move. Year 2015 will see the province releasing significant funding to keep advancing the plan.

    I am also very proud to report that I have been intimately involved on a variety of Big Move assignments all across the GTA, including; rail corridor expansion projects; new development of dedicated bus rapid transit projects in York Region; light rapid transit projects in Toronto; subway extension projects; expansion of GO Station parking lots in different areas.

    I also was involved at the very start of the discussions revolving around electrification of the Lakeshore West railway line which will benefit Burlington; providing cost assessment and preliminary project risk analysis and assisted in designing locations for the electrical pole foundations at certain points along new railway development for the Union Station to Pearson airport rail corridor expansion project.

    I also chaired the resolution of disputes between expropriating authorities and private land owners including developers, as a member of the board of negotiation which is a pre-arbitration adjudicating arm of the OMB; for many Big Move files. I am pleased to report the majority of the cases presented before me at the board were settled, meaning cost efficiencies for taxpayers, good access to justice, and good governance overall from a collaborative and proactive collective spirit; I played a strong role in that effort.

    I have many exciting and interesting stories and case studies where I was personally involved in dealing with Big Move assignments, representing both the private and public sectors.

    That is another reason why I am running for Mayor; because I bring a unique skill set and extensive hands-on experience which will better ensure that these projects are expedited to the fullest benefits of the City of Burlington.

    For increased quality of life; Peter Rusin for Mayor.

  • Susan McMaster

    After being involved in the Mid Peninsula Highway / Niagara GTA corridor issue for over a decade, I think it’s fair to say that I’m well informed on the issue. It is unfortunate that outdated ideology prevails in some minds on sustainable transportation planning. Jobs and economic develop aren’t contingent on building a highway. The Link in Hamilton is a wonderful example of the fallacy of highways as economic drivers. The thousand of jobs promised with the Link never materialized. And in a recent twist in the Hamilton mayoral campaign, Councilor Brad Clark has suggested the province take over the Link because it’s costing businesses in Hamilton too much. Back to the Mid Pen.

    1) The public consultation process on this project spanned approximately 12 years. This provided ample time for anyone who wished to familiar themselves with the data and comment on it to do so.
    2)With climate change impacts (very costly)and gridlock in the GTA, why this highway would be linked to critical economic development is interesting. Studies on transportation planning clearly link economic development to transit lines which is why it is so important that the provincial government invest in Metrolinx’ Big Move. It targets congestion where it is. The location of the Mid Pen Hwy is out in left field – it’s the wrong solution in the wrong location.
    3) And the much bigger issue is climate change. We are only just starting to feel the impact. Not only is it important not to contribute to the problem by building more highways, it important to preserve our rural land for food production from the predictable development.

    On a final note. I happen to have spoken to several people who recently moved, or are moving, to the Burlington area. All sighted their chose of location as linked to the proximity to the GO line. Because as we get older, we can’t assume we will be able to drive.

  • Monte

    Looks like we just can’t get away from planning using 1950’s thinking and using planning Acts created in the 1870’s.
    Southern Ontario and the GTA needs a BALANCED transportation network, not just roads and trucks.

    Roads and trucks breed more roads and trucks and do nothing to relieve congestion.

    Canada requires a NATIONAL transportation strategy to stop this unimaginative thinking.

    We really must at least try to catch up to more advanced nations, before we are left even further behind than we already are.

  • James

    Those opposed to the proposed highway are very vocal, yes indeed, but not necessarily in the majority. A select few have been loud and clear on their position against the highway, but by no means has the community as a whole been heard. There are many that believe this future highway is critically important for the economic development of not only Burlington, but all of the GTA and Ontario, and simply choose to keep their opinions to themselves. Just because Councillor Taylor and Mayor Goldring high-fived each other thinking they had won this battle, doesn’t mean this highway isn’t still getting built. This highway is desperately needed for the greater good of the Province, and is a much bigger issue than just a rural Burlington issue. Perhaps a city-wide referendum that reflects the will of all Burlington residents, and not just those in Councillor Taylor’s ward, would paint a very different picture than what Ms. Warren believes to be true.

  • Mayor Rick Goldring, as well as Councillor John Taylor, have been strong defenders of our Rural area, and of holding the development line south of the 407. Development and urban services should never be extended north of the 407. Period. Full stop.
    Mr. Russin, I would like to know how destroying more agricultural and rural land to build another highway will contribute to decreased traffic in our urban areas? The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. The key to gridlock in our City is transportation oriented development and fast, effective transit.
    Our community has been loud and clear on its position against the Niagara GTA highway. Where have you been that you did not hear those voices?