Former Meed Ward groupie has a change of heart - truth and transparency are her issues.

opinionviolet 100x100By Janice Connell

October 20th, 2018



I am concerned that much of what I read appears to be pro Marianne Meed Ward, but it is not based on factual evidence.

As a woman, my go to is always to support another woman, when the facts show that she is equally qualified as a man. I enthusiastically voted for Marianne Meed Ward (MMW) in a previous election and became a MMW “groupie.  I followed her on social media, read her newsletters, based my opinion of Burlington politics solely on her information.

Unfortunately I believed what I read to be true, including her negative comments about the Mayor and the other Councillors. Facts shed light on truth and during a two year fact based experience of dealing with City Council, I was shocked at how misguided I had been in assuming everything I read from MMW was based on truth and transparency. I regret having prejudged the Mayor and Councillors. The positive is I learned to research for the truth.

I no longer support MMW. I am writing this to share my truth, and because of concerns residents have shared with me about criticizing MMW. Men are concerned about being called sexist. And women are remaining silent as they do not want to be bullied by MMW and some of her supporters. When I was considering going public with my experience with MMW, I was shocked when strong independent women warned me not to drag myself and my family through the retaliation. I had been through it before with MMW and some of her supporters and it was very unpleasant.

During the two years that we were “up against” MMW and her massive campaign through flyers and social media, we who challenged her had our characters attacked, sustained verbal abuse at City Hall meetings, and faced harassment by MMW supporters who threatened to tear down the property fence.
Oprah’s words; “What I know for sure; Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have” resonates in my heart and inspired me to “speak my truth.”

I encourage you to find your truth. You are welcome to share my truth with your friends. Most important make your voice count and VOTE!

I am a member of a group of women known as, “Burlington Women 4 Truth”

We are women who love Burlington and are willing to stand up for the values we treasure: truth, transparency, and trust. We are stay at home moms, professionals, business owners, volunteers and retirees.
Political issues do not divide us. We respectfully “agree to disagree.”

We are concerned that not all candidates have been truthful and transparent in their relaying of information to the residents of Burlington and this is a breach of trust.

We believe that all residents deserve to know the facts before giving a candidate their vote and we are willing to share our factual based information.

For more information please contact

Janice Connell after delegating to city council i committee - She thinks she just might have nailed it!

Janice Connell

More on the facts.  Janice Connell is a Lakeshore Road resident whose home is between Market and St. Paul street where the land next to the edge of the lake was owned by the city and the province.  A staff report contained an a recommendation that suggested that the property could be sold.  Janice and her husband saw an opportunity and lobbied hard to buy the property.  They were successful and the ability to walk along the edge of the lake on property that is stunning was and the opportunity for the public to use the land was lost forever.   Janice and her husband had every right to buy the property.  They engaged Peter Rusin as the land use specialist who provided a lot of the background research.

Full disclosure: During a very difficult time in my life Janice Connell arrived at my front door with a gift – a box of chocolates and an inspirational book.

Related news stories:

The story behind the selling of the land


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17 comments to Former Meed Ward groupie has a change of heart – truth and transparency are her issues.

  • Tim Cummings

    Are we supposed to feel sorry for the rich and entitled that MMW was pain as they acquired our public lakefront? Really?

  • Kelly

    Pepper….This article should be taken down. This is just so sad for people like this to be hateful and to take down candidates unethically AND it was written to purely ignite falsehoods. It should have never been published. It really makes me very sad.

  • Janice Connell

    Nick, Connor, Terry, Don, Sid Tom,D Duck, Lucy, Steohen, Hans, Joe… YES facts matter! I offered to provide information that was fact based and documented…I have not received a request from any of you?

  • Nick

    You have had business dealings with Peter Rusin. Obviously you are in his camp and as such have no credibility. You are nothing more than a Rusin plant. Anything you say should be dismissed as lies.

  • Connor Fraser

    This seems like a personal attack and the author has not proven any of her accusations with hard factual evidence, while choosing to relay on hand-waving arguments instead.

  • C Jacobs

    Agreed Terry.

    If this was an attempt for the Burlington Gazette to show non-partizan support, they have failed miserably. These kind of articles (opinions) are EXACTLY why they are being hammered for being PRO and ANTI in politics. It is better to write balanced pieces, and allow the public to make their choices on facts, not opinions.

    I have to say, the candidate who I was sure I was voting for…will not be receiving my vote on Monday due to the way the candidates social media page, vocal and spiteful supporters and twisted ‘news’ articles have played the point the finger game. As Joe stated above, we need a leader who can bring everyone together…and this campaign has only hi-lighted how some candidates can’t work with others.

  • Tom Muir

    This fabricated garbage is not worth trying to rebut. It’s a stealth attack based on blame the victim.

    The Gazette should be ashamed they published it. It came with a credibility deficit.

    No excuses in my view to publish such a hack job on the grounds that MMW had it coming to square off her credible and popular performance in this election.

  • Janice Connell

    Sid, Don, D.Duck,Lucy, Stephen, Joe, Terry…I agree…facts matter! I did send a lengthier letter with facts to the Editor. He chose not to publish it…perhaps sensing the negative feedback he would get?
    Many readers have contacted me at the email in the article for more information which I have forwarded to them. Everything I report is fact based and documented and I would be happy to share with you.

    sincerely, Janice Connell

    Editors note: The first opinion piece submitted by Connell was a rehash of her differences with Meed Ward on the city’s decision to sell lake front property to Connell and her two neighbours. It was a contentious decision at the time. We didn’t see that difference of opinion several years ago as relevant. Connell will provide you with a copy of that first piece if you care to read it.

  • Sid Friedman

    This is by far the worst thing that I have ever read in the Gazette.
    Tons of preamble, accusations and no real point or back up of any kind.

    If only I could get my five minutes back.

    Editor’s note: We got this from a reader by email. He chose not to post anything in the comments section –

    Well… one can rightfully accuse you of not running opposing views and perspectives. Lucy’s response is a visceral reaction.

    From my perspective you did the right thing in running the piece. People who have opposing viewpoints deserved to be heard. That’s what discourse is about. There is more than one side to every story.

  • Don Fletcher

    One of my favourite quotes is from Gandhi, which goes “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. On that basis, what are the facts that support your opinion?

  • D.Duck


    First, throws the “woman” card.

    Second, states she and the “Burlington Women 4 Truth” are about Truth, Transparency and Trust and they are willing to share THEIR factual based information.

    I am all for Truth and Transparency. When Ms. Connell tell us what happened “In Camera” and why the Citizens of Burlington were unable to clarify why the City Council allowed the sale to occur and why there was an “In Camera” session…………..then I am all ears though Ms. Connell’s facts are probably someone else is fiction.

    Finally, Peter Rusin being involved. The Facts are looking like Fantasy to me.

  • Lucy

    I am puzzled why this opinion piece appears here at all. There are absolutely no facts provided. It is just a barrage of negative comments. Other opinion pieces I have read on this site have given examples/details/ arguments to support their point of view. THIS PERSON’S OPINION PIECE DOES NOT DESERVE AN OFFICIAL HEADLINE AS AN ARTICLE AND SHOULD BE REMOVED. I surmise from the added explanation by the editor that Marianne Meed Ward was not in favour of selling this land because she, along with the tons of other people who objected (referred to offensively here as MMW groupies), wanted the land to be open for public use. In truth it is yet another example of how Marianne is a champion for listening to the voices of the taxpayers, instead of those with mere selfish motives that serve only themselves.

    Editor’s note: When do we as editors decide not to run an opinion piece. The Gazette is continually hammered for favouring Meed Ward. We had qualms with the piece but it was one person’s opinion and we decided to go with it and included some background on the writer and our involvement with her in the past. Had we not run the piece the noise level register would have hit a new high. social media is going to feed on this for days.

    • Lucy

      Thanks Editor…I get it, but perhaps the writer should have been asked to fully disclose the entire situation she is referring to in her opinion piece before it was published. I didn’t have a clue who she was or what in the world happened that soured her so much to validate such insulting remarks until I read your addition at the end. I still think writers who leave out the significant details and crucial information to explain themselves fully don’t deserve to have their opinion published. She could have just commented in the comment section of some other article about Marianne, like the rest of us.

  • Stephen White

    I’ve read this article three times, and the related news story from 2015. I’m still in the dark about what the writer’s issue is with Marianne Meed Ward. Details and context are totally lacking.

    If someone is going to write an op ed then it’s incumbent on them to provide full and factual disclosure of the event or incident behind their issue. We weren’t all privy to meetings and discussions around what happened three years ago. Sorry, many of us are focused on the here and now.

    Colour me a bit cynical though when I see references to Peter Rusin. Probably just a coincidence that it’s the same Peter Rusin behind all those attack ads against MMW. Speaking what one perceives as the truth is their privilege, but those ads strain the limits of propriety, honesty and good taste, and may even border on slander. Say what you like about Marianne but the woman has patience and stamina. If it were me, I would have been on the phone to my lawyer long before now.

    • Hans

      I recall that Marianne opposed the sale of the lakefront land and IMO this seems like nothing more than a last minute payback attack. And I share your cynicism wrt Rusin.

  • joe gaetan

    Here is my two cents worth, after having made numerous delegations to city hall, having been part of an advisory committee, having watched or attended all council debates, having watched three mayoral debates and the Agenda. We need a Mayor who has historically demonstrated an interest in all wards, who actively listens, that tells it like it is, who treats voters with respect, who supports reasonable growth; that candidate is Marianne.

  • terry

    You need to know no more than to appreciate that Janice Connell seems to be CLEARLY a voice for our illustrious Peter Rusin who has been linked to many election irregularities

    If all it takes is a box of chocolates and a book then that too tells a story about ALL the characters involved

    This is BS last minute positioning / grandstanding that should NEVER be published in a reputable paper