ECoB debates are proving to be just what the public wanted.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 22, 2018



There was some doubt in the minds of many that the ECoB initiative to hold debates in every ward of the city would actually work.

Did people care enough to attend a debate?

Could the space in which to hold the debates be found?

Could the costs be covered?

Those doubts disappeared when the public began streaming into Bateman high school on Wednesday evening; they were further dispelled when the audience at the theatre in Hayden high school was very close to full on the Thursday.

Links to the video of the two debates so far are shown below.

ECOB logoThe EcoB people thought it would be a good idea to hand out information on how to vote to the people attending the debates. They asked the city for copies of the instruction sheet they had.

Can’t do that said the City Clerk who is also thee Returning Officer for the municipal elections.

In an email exchange of views Clerk Angela Morgan said to the ECoB people:

City Clerk Angela Morgan fails to ensure media alerted to Special Council meeting. Her communications people dropped the ball as well.

City Clerk Angela Morgan fails to ensure media alerted to Special Council meeting. Her communications people dropped the ball as well.

“As the Returning Officer for the election, I fully support community organized debates however, my role is to ensure that all events association with the City of Burlington Clerks department are completely impartial.

“I have received numerous complaints and concerns from members of the public about the ECOB specifically that they are not impartial and the organization is vocally supporting specific candidates.

“Given these concerns, we cannot permit the City of Burlington logo or materials to be distributed at these events.”

That is just poppy-cock.  Someone needs to explain to the Clerk just what her job is – she is a public civil servant.

Will the City Clerk have the decency to view those debates and determine for herself if they were impartial?
Morgan got complaints – it is the right of any citizen to file a complaint (it would be nice to see the actual complaints with the names redacted – our suspicion is that there are perhaps five – maybe ten).

Resident at Bateman debatte

As more and more people arrived – additional chairs had to be set out.

For the 500 people who attended the two debates so far there is an opportunity for you to help the City Clerk understand that she needs to hear both sides.

Her email address is: Angela Morgan

Let her know what you think.

The incumbent candidate for ward 5 sent out his limp excuse for not attending but then ensured that he had people on site handing out his literature.

The incumbent for ward six also handed out literature – she did her distribution outside the school. What she had her people hand out should get her a phone call from the with the city’s Ombudsman.

Angelo and Ken White

Angelo Bentivegna and Ken White participating in the ward 6 debate. Kinsey Schurm also participated – Incumbent Lancaster did not.

Two of the seven scheduled debates are on line. You can see and hear every blessed word that was said. You decide if the debates were impartial – and be sure to let the City Clerk know what YOU think.

Ward 5 debate on Wednesday September 19th

Ward 6 debate on Thursday September 20th

Just click on the red type that will get you to the debate – they run for close to two hours but you can skip forward and back.

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8 comments to ECoB debates are proving to be just what the public wanted.

  • Penny


    For the record I have not decided who I will be voting for. Interesting that you seem to know more about me than I do.

  • Michael

    Although I do appreciate and applaud ECob for their efforts and dedication, and do value their knowledge, opinions and the information they provide, it is clear that both ECob and Mr. Parr are supporters of Clr. Meed Ward. And thats okay!

    The City of Burlington ‘branding’ their name on this would be unjust. There is no grey area here, this is black and white.

    Very much looking forward to the Mayoral debate(s) as I have yet to make my decision on who to vote for, lots to consider!

    • Stephen White

      The article states ECoB ‘…asked the city for copies of the instruction sheet they had”. It doesn’t say “They asked the city for copies of the instruction sheet so they could add ECoB’s name on it”. If you distribute a document with the City of Burlington logo on it how can that be construed as “branding” or, perhaps more appropriately, “re-branding”? If the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, at their future Mayoralty debate, distributes the same document is that considered branding too? Hardly. It still remains the property of the City, and it’s still their document so long as it isn’t altered.

      Glad you are looking forward to the Mayoralty debate Michael. Let’s all hope the incumbent actually shows up to participate. If he does it would be a first this election.

  • The clerk has a job to do, but in the end, we the voters decide who will represent us at council. The turnout at the debates thus far is proof that the people of Burlington are engaged, know the issues and will probably vote (hopefully in large numbers) in accordance with that knowledge. The city clerks job is too make sure we are on the voters list. Our job is to know that our democratic vote is the manifestation of potentia ad vulgus (power to common people). Lets not waste our breath trying to influence something that is not within our control.

  • Roman

    Hmmmm. Not willing to participate…. just like Paul Sharman and Blair Lancaster, None of these incumbents are willing to face their constituency and defend their records. This speaks volumes. The debates in Ward 5 and 6 have been extremely fair and impartial – kudos to ECoB. Just shows that the need for change on October 22nd has never been clearer or more urgent.

  • Rick Nault

    Just to be clear I am not a member nor a supporter of ECOB, however I think it is a shame that the incumbent councillors have chosen not to participate in these debates. As a resident of ward 6 I attended the Sept 6th debate and found it was well run, fair and respectful to all who participated. By their absence I think it demonstrates their contempt and disrespect for their constituents who have a right to hear the views and positions of all the candidates.

  • Stephen White

    These public debates hosted by ECoB showcase multiple candidates across the City, and provides equal access for all citizens to attend and participate. There is no official endorsement of any one candidate. If there were, one would naturally expect more candidates other than just the incumbents to forego the opportunity to participate. So, to allege partiality borders on the sublime.

    If the information being distributed at a public forum is branded with City of Burlington information, and that information is not altered in anyway, and is being distributed with the primary purpose of educating citizens about their voting rights, then what is the hangup?

  • Penny

    WARD 4 – CONVERSATION with SHAWNA STOLTE – MONDAY SEPT 24th – NELSON HIGH SCHOOL 7-8:30PM. Jack Dennison the incumbent has chosen not to participate. Come out and hear how Shawna Stolte will work with the residents of Ward 4.