City co-sponsors an event for those interested in running for office. Why is it being held in Oakville?

eventsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

February 16th, 2018



Thinking of running for council? City Hall has some advice

The municipal election on October 22 brings great opportunities for residents to connect with local government by voting or running for City Council, which is the ultimate civic engagement.

Election 2018

City has created a smart looking logo for the 2018 municipal election.

If you are a potential candidate, here are some tips on where to get helpful information:
Go straight to the source. The City of Burlington, the Province of Ontario and a number of municipal associations, including the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, have great information. Visit Burlington’s Election 2018 web pages.

Attend workshops and information sessions hosted by experts. The municipal clerk’s office at the City of Burlington is your go-to place for election information. The election team will help you prepare for what to expect on a personal and professional level as a council member, how changes to the Municipal Elections Act will affect this year’s election and what your responsibilities are under the Municipal Elections Act.

Mark your calendar for April 18 in Oakville. The City of Burlington is co-hosting an information session for residents who are interested in running in the 2018 Municipal Election. “So you want to run for Council?” takes place at Oakville Town Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18. The free session will be led by municipal lawyer Fred Dean.

File your nomination papers between May 1 and July 27. You must be 18 years or older, a Canadian citizen and live in Burlington, own land here or be the spouse of someone who does. More information and candidate criteria are available at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s website.

That previous paragraph is highlighted because it isn’t as clear as it should be. Read as it is – it implies that if you are single and live in an apartment you cannot be a candidate.

With the word or placed before the word own it would be clearer.

The AMO web site sets out who can run very clearly.

  • 18 years of age or older 
  • a Canadian citizen; and 
  • either a resident of the municipality or a property owner or tenant or the spouse or same sex partner of an owner or tenant in the municipality during a specified time just before the election.  

The Gazette reached out to the City Clerk for clarification – she didn’t reach back.

Jack Dennison, who is part of the geography in ward 4 has a practice of filing his nomination papers very late in the game – keeping anyone who wants to challenge him at bay for a period of time.  In order to defeat Dennison a candidate should be organized by now and ready to hit the road running.

City Clerk will oversee the municipal election and sign the document that makes the winners official.

City Clerk Angela Morgan will oversee the municipal election and sign the document that makes the winners official.

Angela Morgan, City Clerk did say that “An election is the ultimate opportunity for residents to engage with local government. I am encouraged by the enthusiasm we see in those who host information sessions or provide information on the web. We also want to ensure that voters and potential candidates get the critical information they need, and that those who wish to run for City Council have a positive experience.”

One Gazette reader said: “It is one thing for an organization like ECoB to be promoting new candidates to run for office, But the City?  Could make residents think that the city feels that new faces are needed on Council.

Information links:

City of Burlington Election 2018 web page

AMO – Association of Municipalities in Ontario web site

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4 comments to City co-sponsors an event for those interested in running for office. Why is it being held in Oakville?

  • Penny

    I have asked some long time Burlington residents if the City ever ran this type of workshop before. The answer is no. It seems odd that when ECoB was holding a Volunteer Recruitment Workshop the Mayor announced a Reverse Town Hall meeting on the same day, at the same time.

    ECoB has a Municipal Election Workshop on February 22nd at Tansley Woods Community Centre from 7-9 pm and suddenly the City is co-hosting a Workshop in OAKVILLE. Why Oakville, and why co-hosting, if the city really wanted to provide information on running for Council should it not have been held in Burlington? Don’t candidates have to live in Burlington to run for office?

    The email also indicated that EXPERTS would be providing information. ECoB will also be having experts – people who actually sat on Council, or ran a campaign, and will provide a true picture of what Council life and campaigning is all about, plus all the legal and financial information required. ECoB has also invited residents who want to learn how to help their candidate of choice be successful.

    The present councillors are well aware of who is planning to run against them.

    February 22nd at Tansley Woods Community Centre 7-9 pm – Please register at

    • Tom Muir


      Good points, that needed to be said.

      It’s hard not to think from these incidents that the Mayor’s office is co-opting city staff and resources to finance something he can cast as favorable to himself, while at the same time, on short notice, duplicating and interfering with citizens doing similar activities, exercising their political rights.

      This to me is the thin edge of the wedge verging on the corruption of local politics.

      Maybe we shouldn’t say this, but that’s what it smells like, and is at least taking unfair and I think inappropriate and opportunistic advantage of political office.

      • Stephen White

        Tom and Penny:

        Desperate people do desperate things.

        The Mayor is pulling out all the stops because he belatedly realizes four things:

        1) his re-election is no longer a certainty;
        2) the real opposition in this election isn’t just other Mayoralty candidates but a visible and vocal protest group (i.e. ECoB) that has formed quickly, mobilized fairly effectively, and is comprised of people who want change;
        3) in the past the Mayor was able to campaign on an idealistic and visionary platform. This time round, the public gets to see his vision in the form of the Operating Plan, Mobility Hubs and Grow Bold. I suspect when many voters see what’s in store they will gag, and they will be in no mood to be appeased;
        4) people also see the tangible ramifications of his leadership. Rapid downtown intensification that is steadily eroding the character of neighbourhoods, municipal budget increases twice the inflation rate, traffic congestion, a public transit system that is a mess, and a Council that can’t, don’t or won’t listen to public opinion.

        The Mayor is circling the wagons, pulling out all the stops, and trying to galvanize his acolytes in the business community and anyone else who will do his bidding. But if he thinks it’s bad now wait till the candidate debates. The tough questions and challenges are only just starting.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Not to disagree with the writer’s last line but with all the details citizens have learned lately about the possible backroom politics in Burlington, doesn’t this sound like a way for current Councillors to learn just who might be running against them?