Does Paul Sharman, an accountant with a nose for which way the political winds are blowing have a Machiavellian streak leading him in the right direction?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 13, 2015


For Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman, it is all about the data. Without data – he doesn’t want to make a decision. The decisions he makes with the data tend to have an ideological tinge to them.

Sharman - fuzzy hair

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman is said to have his eye on the provincial seat.

About a week ago a Gazette reader sent us a copy of a letter Sharman had sent out. We made a few phone calls to reliable sources and learned that a number of people got the same letter – so we did a short piece about Sharman’s apparent interest in running for higher office.

Talk about data: the comments made on the piece were numerous – which was interesting. What caught our attention was the number of people who read the story. It led the list of readers on one day and was in the top three for four days.

What gives? We’ve no idea – all we can say is that the story was read by a lot of people. A look at the comments section will give you some sense as to how some people reacted to the news.

Premier Kathleen Wynne hasn’t been in office a full year yet – and assuming she behaves, which is questionable given what we’ve seen recently – the province will not be going to the polls until 2018 – which happens to be when Burlington will go to the polls as well.

Frank McKeown, one of the smartest people in the room, was a strong right hand for MAyor Golodring during his first year in office is now leaqving after serving the Mayor for two years.

Paul Sharman, on the right, is not an easy man to convince. Here he leaves the distinct impression he isn’t buying what former Mayor’s office Chief of Staff Frank McKeown is selling.,

So if Sharman is casting a covetous eye on the provincial seat the dates do align for him. The province would go to the polls in the Spring or Summer of 2018 – which would give Sharman enough time to do it all over again should he not succeed in beating Eleanor McMahon, the current member for Burlington.

Assuming a 2018 election for the province is not something I would bet on.

The Premier has two nasty pieces of business on her plate: the scrubbing of data from hard drives once she was in office and the conversation the Ontario Provincial Police want to have with her over the suspicion that a job was offered to a Andrew Oliver, a possible Sudbury candidate that the Liberals wanted to step aside so their choice could run for the seat in the Legislature.

During the last provincial election Goldring looked at th candidates carefully and wanted to be sure the government understood the concern over a potential highway being rammed through the Escarpment.  Kathleen Wynne, on the right was Minister of Transportation at the time.

Mayor Goldring chats with then Minister of Transportation Kathleen Wynne. He wasn’t buying what she was selling then. Will the provincial police buy the story she gives them over the Sudbury scandal? Karmel Sakran, the Liberal candidate in the last McGuinty election looks on.

The scrubbing of the hard drives is related to the decision to cancel the construction of gas plants in Ontario before the last provincial election. That decision was said to have cost the province millions – but they did win the election.
The squabble over who would be the candidate in Sudbury and the claim that a reward was offered to Olivier if he did not run is now the subject of a police investigation.

The candidate the Liberals wanted ran and won the Sudbury seat.

Olivier has chosen not to go quietly into the night. He recorded a conversation he had with one Pat Sorbara in which is seemed clear to me that something was being offered. The tape runs for 24 minutes – it isn’t pretty.

The police will decide if a criminal act took place and do what they have to do. Liberals in this province are looking at a situation where their Premier is being invited in for a conversation with the police who are conducting a criminal investigation. THAT is astounding – the only thing keeping a bit of a lid on all this is that the Progressive Conservatives don’t have a leader – they are going through a leadership campaign. They will choose a new leader May 9th. In the world of politics that is years away. Kathleen Wynne has two months to clean that mess up.

The Conservatives must be pulling their hair out – a great political scandal – and it looks like it is going to get away on them.  I can just imagine the indignant howls that Tim Hudak would be making in the legislature.

The Liberals have always had great “operatives” – this will get buried unless there are real tough, tough cookies at the OPP – and given that the Premier chooses the person who heads up that police service. Well – you figure it out. It does smell.

 Sharman’s letter to local Progressive Conservatives.

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6 comments to Does Paul Sharman, an accountant with a nose for which way the political winds are blowing have a Machiavellian streak leading him in the right direction?

  • Peter Rusin

    Criminal investigations of the Liberal party demand an increase in public scrutiny and transparency, and that includes being afforded opinions from those in the Liberal party about whatever criminal behaviour may be taking place by their Liberal party colleagues. Anybody that defends criminal acts can be seen as being a party to the criminal act.

  • Roger

    It would be my opinion that people in Ward 5 entitled to good and focused representation. Mr. Sharman defeated a well-know local candidate (James Smith) soundly and then announces less then 45 days after his new term stars – he is looking for a new job. People who thought he was doing a good job and voted for his for a 2nd term feel cheated – people who did not vote for him hold an opinion that he has either done little for ward (there are facts supporting this) since elected and is a opportunist having little vested in the community.

    Beside Ms. Mead-Ward – Mr. Sharman is the most polarizing member of council – you like him or you do not with no middle.

    My perspective is that he has done little for Ward 5 and should stay focused on the city

    If the Gazette want to venture into provincial reporting – with a Burlington perspective – that would be most welcome as its competition

  • Peter Rusin

    Qualitative usually means more lefty wing nut tax increases. Let’s start with quantitative first and put the spreadsheet into order.

    For example, an OPP investigation would be more of a qualitative nature with an overtone of criminal element. McMahon has the duty to voice an opinion when prompted, unless she is also busy deleting emails and trading favours in exchange for political seats.

    This new city manager guy Ridge may actually find a friend in Sharman. They appear to have something in common; intelligence, and transparency traits. Things are starting to shape up a bit, and it is nice to see a bit more open and transparent behaviour as is being demonstrated by Sharman.

    • Henri de Beaujolais

      Dude, your comments are so off base.
      Have you ever worked on any project, assigns or initiative with either sharman or mcmahon?
      I would say you haven’t and that you haven’t spent more than 5 minutes talking to either person.
      You have no idea of the true nature of either of these people.

      You should watch your innuendoes towards mcmahon. You are clueless as to who she is and how she carries herself. Whereas we (the readers of the gazette) know what kind of person you are based on you ‘insightful’ comments. Good luck getting elected as leader of the party of one.

  • Hans Jacobs

    Re: “For Paul Sharman… it is all about the data”.
    Actually, not every issue is quantitative; some are qualitative and they can be equally important.

  • Anthony Pullin

    Thanks for this article. Sitting MPP McMahon seems to be highly regarded by the Gazette, and by many of the commentors. Would Mr. Sharman offer better representation and accountability? No idea! I’m for all Parties having good people. Now would be a good time for McMahon to hold Premier Wynne’s feet to the fire on the issues described in this article, and others.
    How do we get beyond the “I can’t comment, it’s under investigation” excuse? Certainly Ms. McMahon has opinions on these OPP investigations. What are they? After the election, Ms. McMahon’s riding association told us to “watch this space”. We’re watching and we’re waiting.
    I think the Burlington readership would benefit from seeing more Provincial reporting, opinion, and discussion within the Gazette.