Mayor Meed Ward creates a Red Tape/Red Carpet Task Force and sets out her five priorities at Chamber meeting

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 30th, 2019



She has hit the ground running.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward announced plans to launch and lead a Red Tape Red Carpet task force at this morning’s State of the City address at the Burlington Convention Centre and had a media release out before people got back to their desks.

Younger set meeting

The Chamber of Commerce meeting was more than event to hear what the Mayor had to say; there was business to be done.

In front of a sell-out crowd, (not quite – there were three empty seats at my table – maybe that’s because I was sitting at it?) the Mayor spoke about her plan to help eliminate the red tape and bureaucratic delays that Burlington businesses have faced in their pursuit of growth throughout the city.

The Task Force will begin with a broad meeting that is open to the public to raise specific issues and concerns on topics ranging from permits, approvals, and other obstacles. A smaller task force of stakeholders will then be identified to come up with actionable recommendations that will be brought to council and shared with the Province by summer.

Dates and details will be announced shortly, and the Mayor suggested that anyone interested in participating at the task force level can reach out to her via email at

Co-chairing the task force with Mayor Meed Ward will be Kelvin Galbraith, Ward 1 Councillor.

Mayor Meed Ward said: “I’ve heard your concerns and I’m taking them seriously. As mayor, I consider it my job to make it easy to do business in Burlington, and to be the chief advocate of attracting new business and expanding current businesses throughout our city. To help create a place where people can live, work, and thrive.

What better timing to look at ways to improve our processes and drive efficiency than while a regional review is already underway by the Province. I’m delighted to have Kelvin Galbraith as my co-chair, with his wealth of experience as both a business owner and as chair of the Aldershot Village BIA.”

Galbraith slight smile

Kelvin Galbraith has gone from being a small business owner to a city councilor and an expert on how to reduce red tape

Councillor Galbraith sees the “task force is a great step towards addressing the obstacles business owners see when they look to expand or start a new business here in Burlington. We have the space, infrastructure, and talented work force to support them, we just need to fast-track the approvals and processes that limit and frustrate them. I know from first-hand experience that we can identify the low-hanging fruit and come up with some actionable solutions that will make a real difference. We want to let business owners know that Burlington is open for business!”

The State of the City address also touched on Mayor Meed Ward’s plans for the coming term and introduced the team of councillors she’ll be working with to make it all happen. Issues ranging from over-development and the Official Plan review, to traffic and transit, protecting greenspace, and restoring civility and respect at City Hall were just some of the priorities she covered in her speech.

Her top five priorities for the 2019-2023 term as she laid them out are:

Reasonable Growth, Not Overdevelopment

Reasonable growth, not overdevelopment by amending the downtown plan to limit more highrises; end overdevelopment across Burlington by sticking to zoning.

Get Traffic Moving, While Keeping it Safe

Better traffic flow and transit through improved traffic synchronization & intersections, transit routes, free seniors fares, and no road lane elimination.

Reduce Flood Risk, Enhance Greenspace

We must be prepared for flooding by dealing with root causes; not just effects by ending overdevelopment, keeping water at source with greenspace, and green infrastructure.

Hair shor budget trim

Meed Ward said she trimmed her hair style to indicate that she was prepared to trim the budget as well.

Reduce Tax Increases, Keep to Your Priorities

Reduce tax increases by cutting unnecessary administration; improving business attraction; investing in snowclearing, bylaw enforcement, road repair, family and seniors’ amenities.

Rebuild Trust, Create an Open Government

Rebuild trust between city hall and the public by including residents in shaping decisions, not just reacting to them; restoring civility on council and toward residents.


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1 comment to Mayor Meed Ward creates a Red Tape/Red Carpet Task Force and sets out her five priorities at Chamber meeting

  • Alfred

    Wow not one word on job creation and making housing in Burlington more affordable. Or cutting the red tape and endless fees and costs that keep adding to the cost of housing in this community. Her position on reasonable growth by sticking to zoning is flawed. If the zoning by-laws don’t meet and are consistent with the official plan. The official plan overrides the by-law. Now if you think council can just write up another official plan. Wrong again, the official plan has to meet the direction and be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement issued by the Province of Ontario. This system was created exactly as a safeguard to stop rogue councilors, planners, or developers, from trying to make up their own rules. A quick example would be the ADI highrise downtown that the OMB. permitted to build 24 stories When the now Mayor wanted only 12 stories. Clearly she was so far off the mark she had no chance of winning according to the development process in Ontario. We are on the hook for the legal bills. The most sincere citizen delegations in the world won’t make a hill of beans difference if they are inconsistent with Provincial plans for growth. My predictions is we will be paying for monstrous legal fees. While losing most of the battles. Score Developers 1 City of Burlington 0