Mayor gets soundly booed at a debate between the four Mayoralty candidates

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 10th, 2018



It was a good meeting.

Once again ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington showed how to do it right.

Sitting in the aislesCentral high school was packed – they were sitting on the floor in the aisles listening to the last of a series of debates.  This one was between the four candidates running for Mayor.

The full debate can be seen and heard HERE

All the bases were covered during the Q&A.  The Mayor once again fibbed on what the tax increases were. He uses a blended number which includes the school board taxes and the Regional taxes when the only number that matters is the budget that Burlington’s city Council passes each year.

Mike Wallace also likes the blended number.

During the question and answers he mentioned that when he was on Council they went for seven years without any tax increases. And that left the city with a huge infrastructure deficit that we are now paying for.

Development and traffic congestion were the prime issues. Some decent information came to the surface.

Given that the debate took place in ward 2 – home turf for Councillor Meed Ward who is now a Mayoralty candidate, she was expected to get the best applause. And she did.

Her team was feeling particularly boisterous after the debate, which Mike Wallace pointed out really wasn’t a debate – more of a polite set of questions and answers.

Full house

It was Standing Room Only – and there wasn’t much of that.

It was a start – Wallace did say that he had never been before an audience of this size in Burlington before. Times they are a changing.

As each of the candidates was going through their closing comments everyone was listening to Rick Goldring – would he blow it again?

He started out sounding nice – the words were appropriate – and then he let is all get away on him. He attacked Meed Ward for her involvement in the Halton District School Board decision to close two of the seven high schools in the city.

Mike selling

Candidate Mike Wallace – selling his story after the debate.

The Mayor’s outburst is at the close of the debate – scroll to the 1:50:56 minute point on the video. He starts out nicely enough but they he throws a curve.

The audience erupted – he was booed, laughed at and ridiculed as he tried to explain his comments.

Moderator Deb Tymstra was not able to bring the audience under control.

It was local politics – perhaps not at its best.


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15 comments to Mayor gets soundly booed at a debate between the four Mayoralty candidates

  • Allen Jones

    “Mike Wallace continually rolled his eyes and made faces while the other candidates were speaking” …. May I say that I am not surprised given his comments which I overheard at a Chamber gathering when he was a Fed. So lets all roll our eyes on Mike and pray that he goes away! So.


  • D.Duck

    You can’t fix stupid!!

  • steven craig gardner

    Some of us not in Ward 2 appreciate the message the mayor delivered as it is still a wound to those in Pearson and Bateman communities. Helping to keep one old school open at the expense of two others is not the work of a team player or an outside the box thinker that we need now. A solution keeping all schools was the right way to go not pitting one school against the others one neighbourhood against the other. I do agree the Mayor delivered the message in the wrong venue – Ward 2. Bring it to the wards with Bateman and Pearson residents and the response would likely be quite different.

    • Lynn Crosby

      It seems you are as misinformed as the mayor. Both of you should look at PAR processes across Ontario, the number of schools closed over several years, the low and declining enrolment at both Burlington schools, the funding formula of the province which requires underutilized schools be closed before funding is given for needed new schools in growing areas such as Milton and Oakville, the fact that the PAR representatives have zero say in what is ultimately a Director of Education final recommendation and trustee decision, the fact that future students in Burlington will benefit greatly from two newly renovated composite schools designed in a purpose built manner in the latest design and matching what new schools in Milton and elsewhere in Halton and Ontario provide. You should also stop listening to the angry and bitter people who want to blame all of this on one individual, especially when that one individual attended Queen’s Park trying you obtain a moratorium province wide and urged our mayor to get involved as mayors in many other cities did. As usual our current mayor chose to opt out while Marianne chose to roll up her sleeves and answer her constituents’ calls for help. That the current mayor would now get down in the muck with these particular individuals tells us everything we need to know about his character or lack thereof. And if you think it was only Ward 2 people attending a mayoral debate 2 weeks before the election, you have that wrong too.

    • Hans

      Re: “A solution keeping all schools was the right way to go not pitting one school against the others one neighbourhood against the other.”…. That comment should be addressed to the HDSB, who made it the Zero-sum Game that pitted schools’ supporters against each other. Why were the other councilors not supporting the schools in their wards?

  • Maggie

    I agree that the mayors performance was unprofessional and crude. His attack was totally uncalled for. Even if I had planned to vote for him (which I didn’t) he would have lost my vote in that moment of his disgusting attack on Marianne Mead-Ward. While I have long considered him ineffective as mayor I used to think he was a decent person. Obviously I was wrong.

  • joe gaetan

    I think by now we all know that the debates organized by ECoB were well attended and that the following quote, “Unfortunately, the organizers of the ECOB debate have failed to provide a fair and equitable environment for a debate to occur”, from an absentee incumbent, rings hollow. Congratulations to ECoB for hosting the debates, democracy is alive and well in Burlington, just one more reason why we are such a great city.

  • Stephen White

    After watching the video I think Andrea Bocelli’s song “Time to Say Goodbye” should be named the official theme song for the Mayor’s campaign. A truly unprofessional and crude performance. This election should be about policies and vision, not an exercise in personal attacks.

  • Hans

    Instead of attacking MMW for representing her ward regarding the school closure issue, Goldring should have offered an explanation for his own lack of involvement, if there is a plausible one.
    Trying to “snow” the audience and make himself look good by aggregating the tax increases apparently didn’t work with an audience that has been paying attention.

  • fj

    Congratulations to ECoB for professionally held event. It was interesting to see Councillors that criticized ECoB attend.

  • Phllip Wooster

    Another shoddy performance by Goldring. What troubled me was his failure to take responsibility for the property tax hikes IN BURLINGTON. Consistent throughout 7 of the 8 years of his tenure has been the increase in BURLINGTON taxes at twice the rate of inflation–this is a failure of the so-called budgetary process. I operate a small business and when budgeting for a new fiscal period, each line item is examined to find more efficient ways of conducting business or controlling costs. This does not happen at City Hall which operates budgets on the basis of last year’s numbers ++++–this is not budgeting. And ultimately it is the Mayor’s responsiblity.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Not only did our Rick Goldring show a complete lack of respect as he spewed out misinformation, personally attacking Marianne Meed Ward but Mike Wallace continually rolled his eyes and made faces while the other candidates were speaking. This behavior from both mayoral candidates is completely unacceptable. It’s appalling to have these two as choices to run our city.

    • Steve Cussons

      I am glad I am not the only one the watched Mike Wallace animated actions as basically condescending when others were sharing the views on the various questions. It was like everything his competitors said was stolen from him based on his visual actions throughout. Drove me crazy

      • Phil Waggett

        I haven’t been impressed with Wallace for years and I’m a Conservative (although I must admit voting for the Liberal in the last election was a mistake). He’s a professional politician–nice guy who knows how to “schmooze” the electorate but little else. The slogan on his election signs, “Experienced leadership” is completely misleading–in 12 years in Ottawa he NEVER held a cabinet post so what was he leading?

        • Hans

          Mike Wallace quit Burlington council in mid-term to run federally, didn’t he? If he wins the mayor’s job, how do we know he won’t do that again next year?

          And it’s hard to believe that Mike (or anyone else) would be listened to by Doug Ford or Justin Trudeau – it just doesn’t work that way.