If you don't have a credible argument - baffle the public with BS

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 6th, 2018



There was a time in the province of Quebec during their provincial elections when one political party would find a candidate with the same family name as a member some other political party. Both names would appear on the ballot – voters were confused – which was the objective.

The rules were tightened up and that practice came to an end.

There is a group in Burlington that is doing the same thing.

ECOB logoECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington came to life in December of 2017. I was in the room when the 20 some odd people decided they wanted a city wide grass roots organization.

The representation for all six wards was a little thin – this was just a formative meeting. What impressed me at the time was that there were people from different parts of the city with cheques in their pocket – all they needed to know was who the cheques should be made out to.

These were small local citizens groups that believed there was a need for a larger organization.

ECoB did stumble in their opposition to the development the city had approved opposite city hall. They filed an appeal then at the last minute withdrew the appeal.

What they have achieved is something that has never been seen in this city before. Churches filled to the rafters with people listening to all candidate meetings.

Full house 350

Resident packed the Baptist Church on New Street. The city had never seen anything like it before.

Resident at Bateman debatte

The staff at Bateman high school kept having to put out another row of chairs as residents continued to walk into the cafeteria where the debate was held.

Since then, a reactionary group that is interested in getting behind special interests, has done everything they could to dismiss and diminish what ECoB has managed to do.

Sharman seat at ward 5

The seat at the candidate table reserved for Councillor Sharman wasn’t used. He didn’t show up for the debate in his ward.

The member of city council most opposed to ECoB has been Paul Sharman, followed by Blair Lancaster and then Jack Dennison.

It isn’t clear yet just who the players are behind this other group who call themselves Informed Citizens of Burlington

They claim to be a not for profit group searching for and sharing information during the 2018 local municipal election. The only thing the Gazette has been able to find s a twitter account.

Transparency doesn’t appear to be something they understand; it certainly doesn’t appear in their mission statement.

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6 comments to If you don’t have a credible argument – baffle the public with BS

  • Maggie

    I wish that there had been a group such as ECoB organizing debates when I ran in the last election. The only debate in ward 1 was for the students of Aldershot High School. While I was happy to participate and pleased to see the student engagement a debate where adult voters could have attended would have been much appreciated.
    As for the group Informed Citizens of Burlington, I find the similarity to ECoB’s name misleading. Seeing their tweets I highly question how “informed” they really are. Their main goal seems to be to tear down ECoB and Marianne Mead-Ward.

  • Hans

    ECOB is clearly much more than an anti-tower group. I hate to think how easily three councilors who didn’t respect voters enough to show up and defend their records might have been elected without ECOB. The ECOB Ward 6 candidate meeting which I attended was absolutely unbiased so that the only thing Ms. Lancaster needed to be concerned about was her poor record as a councilor.
    There is nothing wrong with being opposed to tall buildings. Tall buildings ruin neighborhoods, delay emergency response for higher floors, make firefighting difficult, create wind tunnels, block sunlight, ruin the view, create traffic and parking problems, and eventually must be demolished with great care. They are not an asset to any community and benefit only those who profit from their construction.

  • Tom Muir

    Gardner has been a snarky curmudgeon – Curmudgeon definition, a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person – for as long as I remember him chiming in here, which is a couple of years.

    He has tried to skewer me a few times, and I’m at risk for this comment. Sometimes but infrequently to my recall, he makes a worthy point that is civil discourse.

    Seems others here see the same negatives thing.

    ECoB and Penny Hersh can hold their heads very high for pulling off a first for Burlington.

    And significantly, they taped the whole series, so there is a record that can be looked up to see what was said.

    All the rest is just the past, not accessible, so no longer relevant to what is going on now.

    My thanks and respect to you all ECoB.

  • Penny

    Mr. Gardner, ECoB is much more than being opposed to tall buildings downtown. It is about Citizen Engagement. If you haven’t figured that out yet, I guess you never will.

  • Bonnie

    As a resident very active in the community, I cannot believe that a person would not be giving full credit to the members of ECoB. The many hours that have been spent organizing these debates in all wards cannot be counted. The ECoB members continued to act in a professional manner unlike the three incumbents of council who tried at every turn to dismiss their value to the community. Please do not compare these dedicated individuals to the people who hide behind a name…..enough is enough.

  • steven craig gardner

    They sounds as transparent as ECoB is these days who are on its Board what is mission now aside from organizing debates what are they doing for all of Burlington. To a lot of us in Burlington ECoB will always be a group opposed to tall buildings downtown.