Engaged citizens of Burlington survived a tumultous series of weekend meetings and will hold its first public meeting on Wednesday.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

December 11th, 2017



It was a hectic week for the newly formed Engaged Citizens of Burlington – ECoB.

They struggled to work with a co-chair that was not in the country and, based on what has been passed along to the Gazette, she was difficult to work with. During what is reported to have been a difficult conference call the “group was blown up by its leader”. People were resigning left and right.

ECOB logoThe phrase “disrespectful” crept into the conversations the Gazette had with a number of people involved in the development of what is intended to grow into an umbrella organization for community groups that want to see a better relationship between city hall and the tax payers.

The small group of people who have been behind ECoB managed to get themselves incorporated, raised $5000 to cover some of their early expenses and put together a sub-committee that was preparing an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) against the city council 5-2 vote to approve the construction of a 23 story tower opposite city hall.

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor voted against the staff recommendation.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward with the Mayor. Both voted against the motion to approve a 23 storey tower opposite city hall. They are expected to run against each other in the October 2018 municipal election.

ECoB scheduled a public meeting for Wednesday of this week (the 13th) at the Baptist church on New Street where they hope to hear from as many groups as possible on how they can look for a better way to work with city hall.

The group wants to be at the table and involved in the development of community plans rather than just standing at the podium in the Council Chamber, speaking for their allotted ten minutes and then being dismissed with no follow up questions.

Last Thursday the EcoB people took their appeal to city hall only to learn that they couldn’t file the document because there was nothing to appeal. The city council vote was just part of the process – there are additional documents to be created, including the creation of a Section 37 agreement which sets out what the city is to be given in return for the additional height and density before there is something to appeal.

At this point the ECoB people have a commitment from city hall that they will be advised when the file is complete – at which point they will file their appeal.

421 BrantECoB was not prepared to reveal any of the appeal points other than to say that they believe city council exceeded their authority and that the Official Plan limit for the property is 12 storeys – not the 23 that council approved.

A significant number of people in the city continually ask why an Official Plan is consistently over-ridden by city council.

In an item that was published earlier this week Tom Muir, a consistent city hall delegator, spoke of a conversation with city manager James Ridge in which Ridge is reported to have explained to Muir that development agreements are negotiated with developers. Muir said Ridge told him: “That is good planning”. Which is the rub for many who are opposed to a city that will find its main street not much more than a row of high rise towers.

In a media release put out on Sunday the ECoB people said: “We live in an ever changing world. Our core team remains committed to work towards building a better Burlington for generations to come. We hope to accomplish this goal of building awareness through our online and community presence.

“YES, The meeting is taking place on Wednesday, December 13th from 7-9 pm at Burlington Baptist Church, 2225 New Street (next to Dodsworth & Brown). The entrance to the church is off the Dodsworth & Brown parking lot.

“Discussion will include the grounds for our appeal to the Official Plan and steps moving forward. We encourage all Community Groups to attend and help grow the organization.”

ECoB has created a Facebook page:

Related news stories:

Citizens group created.

City manager tells resident that negotiated development plans are good planning.

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1 comment to Engaged citizens of Burlington survived a tumultous series of weekend meetings and will hold its first public meeting on Wednesday.

  • William

    Bravo to ECOB for their perseverance. New groups inevitably tinker with structure and leadership in the start-up phase. A movement should never be beholden to the personalities of a few people.