Just why did some Council members not take part in the ECoB debates; one says she was threatened.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 5th, 2018


Part 1 of a series

With the ward level debates behind us – now is the time to look at just what we learned about ourselves as a city.

It is absolutely incredible that all three incumbent Council members; Dennison, Sharman and Lancaster refused to take part in the debates organized by a citizens group.

The incumbents kept saying ECoB, the group that organized the events, had no credibility. That argument got blown apart when close to 400 people came out on a wet chilly night to hear the ward 2 candidates debate.

Full house 350

The ward 2 ECoB debate – more than 400 people.

Audiende at the entrance

The ward 1 debate – locking the doors didn’t keep people out.

The issue that kept Blair Lancaster from taking part in the debate organized by ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington was the bias she perceived and the two articles the Gazette published.

The Gazette has never been able to interview Lancaster, she literally scoots away when we approach her.

We learned why Lancaster decided not to take part in the ECoB debate from a comment on the Burlington News Facebook page.

Burlington News is a Facebook page. It is not an accredited newspaper. It appears to be the most recent hobby of John Was who often uses the name Andrew Miller.

A number of months ago the Gazette had to ask John Was to stop posting comments on the Gazette. We found that his goal was to constantly attack a member of city council.

In her comment on the Burlington News Facebook page Lancaster posted:

To: Attendees and Participants of the ECOB organized debate on September 20th, 2018

Please be advised that I will not be attending this evening’s debate.

Unfortunately, the organizers of the ECOB debate have failed to provide a fair and equitable environment for a debate to occur.

I initially shared my concerns about the debate’s facilitator, whom I believe to be extremely biased.
While ECOB initially responded positively to my request to change the facilitator, they immediately went on to share information about my private correspondence with the Burlington Gazette—to discredit me and my concerns.
The Gazette then proceeded to write an article citing threats of violence against me.

Lancaster had more to say and we will report and react to that information in due course.

Links to the two articles the Gazettte published in which Lancaster claims she was threatened are set out below.  If you can see a threat do let us know.  You can send your comments to publisher@bgzt.ca

Dumb decisions

Lancaster announces she will not take part in the ECoB ward 6 debate.

NEXT: Part 2 of a series

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5 comments to Just why did some Council members not take part in the ECoB debates; one says she was threatened.

  • D.Duck

    Stephen White:

    Ouch & Touche!!!

  • Stephen White

    First, candidates attending public forums such as the one sponsored by ECoB do not, as a rule, go unescorted. They have several campaign supporters with them. Second, if Ms. Lancaster were genuinely concerned about her personal safety she could have made these concerns known in advance to the ECoB organizers who, I’m sure, would have arranged for an off duty police officer or a private security firm. Third, this is Burlington….not Syria, not Afghanistan, not Russia, not even the United States. Canadians are invariably polite and deferential…almost too polite. Politicians are invariably treated with more civility and respect than in other countries, and certainly more than local residents delegating before Burlington City Council.

    Here’s the most important point of all. The one candidate in this campaign who has endured more personal abuse, insults, orchestrated attacks, defamatory comments and outright derision, namely Marianne Meed Ward, has repeatedly attended public meetings to explain her views and answer questions from voters. I don’t see her ducking debates or offering up lame excuses on why she can’t participate in public forums.

  • Marie

    Anyone who relies on a Facebook page for news is not worthy of my vote.

  • Mark Carr

    Slight correction. Jack Dennison DID appear at the debate, he was late because he attended a City Council meeting the same night.

  • LoverofLiberty

    Ms. Lancaster also contacted Halton Regional Police and asked them to attend the “Meet the candidates debate at St. George’s Church in Alton. “She was fearful”. Always the drama queen! She would only speak to her senior friends. Hopefully after October 22nd, she can apply to be the curator of the Museum which she lobbied to give and extra 1.4 million dollars for “perks”. But Goldring was quick to defend it as “Ward 6 is lucky, you got a library”. That was years ago! Both need to go!