Mayor spills the bean on TVO: Bateman is going to cost the city $100 million

By Pepper Parr

June 2nd, 2023



Speaking on the TVO program The Agenda where the subject was who should pay for growth Steve Paiken said to Mayor Marianne Meed Ward:

“I’m willing to bet that there’s a huge chunk of people in your city that don’t think growth is intrinsically good that they love Burlington the way it is right now, and they’d be just very happy. Thank you very much. If there was no further growth to Burlington, what do you do with that?”

Did you just say …

Meed Ward responded:
“Well, what they’re seeing is growth in housing only without thinking about what a complete community is all about. The transit hasn’t kept up with growth. The community centers hasn’t kept up with growth, the libraries the list of things that have not responded to population growth in every city is very long.

“And so what people see is their quality of life has diminished because they’re waiting more in longer lines. They can’t get access to facilities, they go to other places because they can’t get their kids into an arena. And so what we’re doing when we accepted the housing pledge for 29,000 units by 2031, we said we’re not just building housing, and we need the province to help us with those big capital dollars for community centres for transit for parks.

The whole for Burlington, by the way, if we get rid of development charges overnight is  $36 million a year. That’s about a 20% tax increase. So you know, these are not inexpensive costs.

We just bought an old surplus school site for $100 million. we’re renovating that into a community center. These are big things that our community needs and if all the community sees is traffic congestion, can’t get my kids into programs, diminishing quality of life. They’re not going to be happy about growth. We have to make sure that we’re building complete communities,

Paiken came back with: “Did you just say you spent $100 million for an old school?”

Meed Ward quickly added that “ the $100 million was to buy and convert the former Bateman High School – but this is the first time the public has heard that number.

Mayor tells interviewer the city will spend $100 million for Bateman High school property. Councillor Stole told the public that the cost was going to be $50 million and got smacked with a five day pay fine. What does the Mayor get for blabbing away that the city will spend $100 million ? Re-elected?

When Councillor Shawna Stolte told the public that the cost was going to be $50 million she got smacked with a fine of five days’ pay because the information she shared was discussed in a closed session of Council

Releasing number on a TV show seems to be Ok.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 comments to Mayor spills the bean on TVO: Bateman is going to cost the city $100 million

  • Tom Muir

    Councilor Stolte got got smacked only because Nisan and Galbraith complained to the IC – talk about living in glass houses.

    While I also think the Mayor was not fair to Councilor Stolte, going too far in verbal attack, what she is saying overall here is the truth and facts the Province is ordering us to do and putting into law on our dime it seems.

    Growth in houses without the rest of the complete community – read what she says again to see what is missing, including the money to pay for it

    If Bateman costs $100 million, so be it in my opinion. Look to the Province and the developers who build the houses driving the need for community and all the other stuff that is needed.

    That’s what the Mayor seems to be looking to try and do.

    • Joe Gaetan

      Tom: No developer in his or her right mind are going to absorb develpment costs, they just pass them on to owners, thereby increasing the cost of housing, that is already sky high. I am still wondering why we and the other 185 owners in our condo had to pay for paving the Brock St parking lot and much more that was tacked on to our developement. We need a better approach and the Mayors in Ontario need to sit down with Ford and company. As I have said before, there is only one wallet and neither COB nor the Province nor the Federales have one.

      • Tom Muir

        Joe: I agree with you – I apologize for my choice of words. What I meant is that the developers pay from their wallet in appropriate development charges the full cost share incurred by Bateman of their development. Growth pays for growth. Let them pass it on if they can.

        There is no free lunch in the housing market, only taxpayer subsidy, as you say. Ford is digging a deep hole and trying to spread the digging around to the taxpayer wallets. It’s only going to get worse.

        So like you say, and Lynn too, things need to change, a new approach, but I don’t see it happening. This has been the scenario for years.

        COB communication and engagement is really propaganda, boldly called the Engagement Charter, a lie since day 1.

    • Lynn Crosby

      Suggest people read this Bay Observer piece. It talks about how much was not made public prior to the election and in time for their survey. It talks about how claiming they’re engaging the public way too late and on way too little when the first $80M happened with zero engagement is misleading to say the least, as is much of their communication on this. It really is a must read for Burlington residents and taxpayers. And voters. I don’t support anything they’ve done on this. How they’ve done it and are doing it is the worst part.

  • Lynn

    And they all freaked when Councillor Stolte said the cost was over $50M. Yes, yes, she wasn’t supposed to publicly divulge this big secret.

    Do we know yet how much phase 3 costs or is that still a secret too? The line by the mayor recently that she was glad the project is “on time and under budget” will likely be one she eventually comes to regret making. And as Jim Thomson pointed out, the opening of Brock is already a year late …

    Can we return the $4M wave break and get a refund? How are those reserve funds doing?

    What a game this all is to them. And of course we the taxpayers lose every time.

  • joe gaetan

    Is the moral of this TVO program special utterance, people living in glass houses should not throw stones? Also a teachable math lesson $50,000,000 x 2 = $100,000,000, for now anyway. Irrespective of how you slice and dice who pays for growth, the indisputable fact is, we the taxpayer or homeowner pick up the tab.