Craven upsets a citizen - this is one vote he is not going to get next time around.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 27th, 2016


Having a spitting match with a constituent isn’t smart politics.

Larry Good wrote his Council member and got a response he wasn’t too pleased with.

But let’s let the record speak for itself.

Thank you for responding so quickly to my email. I apologize for my tardy reply but I decided to do some research given your strident response.

This is the response Larry Good got from ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven.

Rick Craven

Councillor Rick Craven – ward 1

Do you honestly expect me to completely ignore the expert advice from our Director of Transit………..

“Oakville transit has reported increased ridership on Mondays, but that has not equated into additional ridership increases for the other days of the week. Staff do not recommend this to be implemented in Burlington and would recommend the Reduce Fare Option – –a reduced fare during off-peak and weekend hours would provide opportunity to utilize the service in the off peak times. Staff are recommending the “TWO for a TOONIE” seniors program be created. This would allow two seniors to ride Burlington Transit conventional services between 10 am and 3 pm Monday to Friday as well as all day Saturday and Sundays.”

I support some version of the TWO FOR A TOONIE program and am willing to discuss it further.

Good wasn’t going to let remarks like that stand on their own.

“I assume” he said “ the question you asked me in the opening remarks of your response to me was rhetorical hyperbole and not intended to seek clarity. I wonder if you asked Mayor Goldring or Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster if they completely ignored the expert advice of our Director of Transit. Indeed, the Director’s advice is important but it is not the only informational input available to you and Council to arrive at a decision on Free Mondays for Seniors. I would hope you agree.”

“In addition to the Director’s input you could look to the success achieved by Oakville Transit with this program they introduced in 2012. According to a transit survey done in Oakville during their pilot program that transit ridership did increase and continues to increase, especially among seniors through out the week. It would seem Seniors in Oakville have been enjoying this service ever since their pilot project was completed close to four years ago. I am sure when a senior takes transit on Monday’s in Oakville they feel acknowledged and appreciated for their contribution to the community.

Robert Lovell A

Robert Lovell delegating at city council on the Monday Free transit for seniors proposal in the budget.

“Another source of information comes form the Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee. This committee conducted their own research including direct conversations with the Oakville Director of Transit who fully supports this program. Mr. Lovell speaking on behalf of the Advisory Committee made a cogent and compelling argument to Council and the Budget Committee. In addition to the goal of increased ridership there are many other benefits which spring from this transit fare reduction proposal. This program could have an impact on Traffic Congestion, Road Safety and the Environment.

“Councillor Marianne Meed Wade’s website also has a wealth of information on this subject which you should take a look at.

“It was reported in the Burlington Gazette that you said very little during debate, Councillor Taylor felt this was a low income or a social welfare issue better dealt with by the Region, that Councillor Dennison has never been in favour of “support” programs. However, this same council supported spending $16,000 for the Car Free Event which only directly benefits approximately 3 wards in the City. The article went on to suggest it is the “old boy’s club” that did not want to see this trial take place. Although you have been a Councillor for quite some time I don’t think that alone qualifies you as part of an old boys club but perception can be a problem.

Transit - seniors with Gould

Seniors gather at a table to talk about the state pf transit – a meeting sponsored by a Burlington advocacy group – there was no one from transit at the well attended meeting.

“As has been pointed out Senior’s represent roughly 17% of the City’s population (even higher percentage in Ward 1) and all estimates point to this demographic growing. The next large demographic are the children of the seniors we are speaking about. As a demographic senior’s are more likely to vote than other groups. This demographic has greatly contributed to our community in many ways including raising our children, contributing to municipal life via volunteerism, charity and I dare say defence of our Country. Why would you not support this demographic? I visited China a few years back with the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and we were taken for a tour of a “Seniors Park” where there were hundreds of seniors dancing in groups, exercising on equipment provided, playing local games and generally just having a great time in the fresh air. I think we could benefit a lot from the Chinese culture in their strong admiration and unfailing support for Seniors. We don’t need to look that far to find inspiration, we need only to look to our neighbours to the east, Oakville.

The ceremonies over the Naval Promenade becomes the fous with the Seniors' out in force listening to the All MAle Welsh Choir. Strolling along is Craig Stevens, the city's project manager on the pier project. He direction and oversight kept the project going when it got a little wonky at times - but that's another story.

The ceremonies over the Naval Promenade becomes the focus with the Seniors’ out in force listening to the All Male Welsh Choir.

“I hope you will not completely ignore the advice of the Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee, or ignore the apparent success of the Oakville’s Transit program or ignore the recommendation of Councillor Meed Ward. I continue to believe our seniors deserve all the backing they can be given and if it were up to me alone transit would be free all the time for those 65 and older. This pilot project and Oakville’s permanent program for free Monday’s for Seniors is not a social welfare issue it is a matter of respect and giving back to a segment of our community for their selfless sacrifice for us.

“Your willingness to discuss is belied by your rhetorical hyperbole, it would seem your mind is made up. Again Shame on you!”

There is a vote that shouldn’t be counted on.

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4 comments to Craven upsets a citizen – this is one vote he is not going to get next time around.