How did the Aldershot community handle the election debate - they made it a family event.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 12, 2018



The ECoB debates took place in every ward. The happiest event was in ward 1 where 11 candidates laughed with each other and talked about how each could serve the community.

It was a fun evening – there was laughter and kidding around and serious discussion about the serious issues in the community. It was clear that there were those who were not ready for public office, it was also clear that there were some very good candidates – any one of four would be good council members.

Audiende at the entrance

It was standing room only for the Aldershot community who came out to hear the 11 people running for public office,

There were some foolish statements; one candidate committed to giving half his salary away and another who promised to do what he could to get the salary for council members cut by 10%.

Some clearly didn’t understand the issues, others were there to promote their pet issue.

What was pleasantly clear was that they all loved the community they lived in, in a way that wasn’t as evident in any of the other ward level debates.

resident ward 1 reading bios

ECoB made sure that everyone had a bio sheet that could be used to follow the debate.

ECoB made sure that everyone in the audience had a sheet with a photograph and a short biography of every candidate. It was difficult to remember who was who amongst the 11 candidates.

There was an environmentalist who would make a significant contribution to city council thinking were he to be elected.

There was a transportation specialist who could ask Transportation department staff some hard questions.

There was a candidate who has the solid support of the retiring council member – so much so that the current incumbent managed to convince his wife to stand at the candidate’s table at the Burlington Green debate.

The Aldershot candidates were asked where they stood on the question of should the city allow retail cannabis stores. Most of the candidates stepped gingerly around this one – except for the candidate who suggested the stores be permitted – if they didn’t he said, his sons would have to continue buying from the sons of another candidate. The audience roared with laughter

The evening was a little like a large family gathering for some festive occasion and enjoying the company of each other.

One of the biggest concerns in the community was traffic congestion. No one had a solid answer.

Intensification and the loss of retail that gives people a reason to get out and walk to stores that are disappearing. It would be a hoot if Aldershot was chosen by the city as a cannabis store location when the community doesn’t have an LCBO location or a beer store.

TEC stop quarry expansion Jul17

Tyandaga Environmental Coalition has managed to get their concern about further development of the quarry on the public agenda.

The plans the Meridian Brick company has to extend their shale mining to the third cell on the east side of the quarry got more mention than that problem has gotten in the two years the Tyandaga community has been asking for a change in the 30 year plus license the company has from the provincial government.

What was surprising was that there wasn’t even a mention of the Beachway that was once a lively almost self-contained community that is in the process of being taken apart one house at a time.

Beachway - Full park

There is a long term development program for the Beachway. It didn’t get a single mention during the debate.

The people of Aldershot were pretty clear about LaSalle Park, which happens to be owned by the city of Hamilton. Some wanted it to be part of Burlington. One candidate thought the city should buy it for $1. Burlington currently pays rent of $67,000 and covers all the maintenance costs.

LaSalle Pacillion

Restored by Aldershot residents, owned by the city of Hamilton.

The city manager was tasked with negotiating a purchase agreement with Hamilton – they didn’t like what the city was offering.

The Mayor recently suggested that Burlington should annex Waterdown which probably means Hamilton won’t be sending Burlington any Christmas cards and certainly soured the relationship we have with that city.

The candidate who wasn’t aware that half of a council members salary came from the Region probably won’t have to worry – not likely to get elected. It would help had the candidate known where the Regional Council meets.

Aldershot has several solid choices – trust them to pick the person that will ensure that not just the needs of the community will be served but that whoever they elect will be able to see the bigger picture. Burlington is going through a critical phase of its longer term development – it is vital that the city get it right this time.

The candidates

The 11 candidates running for the Ward 1 city council seat.

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1 comment to How did the Aldershot community handle the election debate – they made it a family event.

  • AM Jones

    Pepper, i was there that evening (you can just see a little of my yellow jacket on far left sitting at back in first photo above). You are correct on all counts. Got in just in time. Actually had to set up our own chairs. Well worth it. At one point, I thought, “Now, if we could just get the best of all of these candidates melded into one, THAT would be our ideal candidate! LOL!” As I’m from The Maple area of Ward 1, I did feel as you mentioned in your article, that our area does, in fact, feel rather neglected. I live a stones throw away from Maple and Lakeshore. What is occurring in the way of all the ‘construction (and some destruction?!) on Maple, the now looming Joe Brant House perched ominously over Lakeshore with Joseph Brant Hospital in the background, bit by bit, being covered in a new ‘skin’ to match the Lee Chin Tower; it all feels very much metaphorically like what is happening to our beloved City as a whole. I’m not at all against change. Growing up by the lake, it’s all I’ve ever known; Nature IS change. However, it just feels like we’ve gone from “0” to “100” in a matter of months. The word ‘thoughtful’ has been bandied about along side ‘intensification’. It is with true profound sadness that I believe this word, ‘thoughtful’, no longer exists in THIS definition of a developer’s 21st Century vision of what was once … my “Home”.