Mayor stiffs majority of her council - again

By Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2024



The decision as to what at least four members of City Council wanted the Mayor to do concerning the Strong Mayor powers she holds got put off to the next Committee of the Whole on April 16th – what members of Council really got was the Mayor’s middle finger.

Rory Nisan made it clear where he was coming from: “I was elected to make decisions at the council table not to receive those decisions and I’m accountable as well. I’m accountable to those people.”

Councillor Shawna Stolte pressing Mayor Meed Ward for an answer.

Councillor Stolte: then said: “I had wanted to wait until after your comments to be able to ask a question that I will ask  – you indicated during your comments that you will give strong consideration to the request that is before you today and I would like to assume that you have taken the opportunity over the last 10 days to give serious consideration to this request. So my question to you is will you,  based on majority of Council and multiple delegates, be willing to give a clear response and answer today.

Mayor Meed Ward. My answer is that I do welcome council  to make requests of me and I will give it the thoughtful consideration that it deserves.

Stolte: Sorry for clarity, so not a response today though?

Mayor Meed Ward stuck to her story: will give it the thoughtful consideration that it deserves. It requires additional thought.

Mayor Meed Ward: “ That is my response today and I will give it more thought and more to come.

Stolte: Sorry, I guess I’m not being clear a response to the request to delegate. Your answer is what I’m asking for.

Mayor Meed Ward: “ I welcome council  to make any requests that they wish to make of me and I will give it the thoughtful consideration that it deserves. It requires additional thought.


Stolte: “ I’d like to put forward a motion of our amendment.  I gave the wording to the Clerk ahead of time not being sure whether this would be put on the floor.

Stolte?”It’s a simple amendment. That’s a motion to request the mayor to provide a clear and concrete decision on motion memorandum for improving local democracy by strengthening city decision making by the next council meeting on April 16 2024.

Councillor Kearns seconds the Motion and then speaks to it.

“I will put on my deputy mayor hat for engagement and whatever else it is, and say that this is directly in response to the community engagement that we have heard quite loudly in fact, and fairly unanimously. I’ve yet to receive anything in my inbox or in the written delegations or in the verbal delegations to say that this doesn’t seem to be the direction that the community wants to go in. So if we have those folks out there, happy to hear from you.

“But what I have heard from so far today, and what I actually know from a number of significant conversations that I hold in deep confidence, and I think everyone who has been, you know, quite open around this. This quite simply is just not working. And the sooner we move to a decision on this clear and concrete decision, I was hopeful that we would get a unanimous decision on the motion that was presented, but we are not there.

“We can at least put some timelines around it and you heard my questions to the city solicitor asking for options around the timing. With the wording called request. We cannot compel, direct,  or command anything.

With that they vote on the Motion;  (Place cursor over type for larger image)

Councillor Galbraith – support.

Councillor Kearns – support

Councillor Nissan – support.

Councillor Stolte – support

Counsellor Sharman – support

Counsellor Bentavegna – support

Mayor Meed Ward – support




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1 comment to Mayor stiffs majority of her council – again

  • Penny

    I sat in council chambers this morning and as I walked out I thought ” well that was 2 hours I will never get back”.

    The councillors and the residents that delegated tried to tell the mayor that residents were not in favour of the power given through the strong mayor designation.

    The recurring theme was that this designation could be a “slippery slope” and as one person indicated in some cases “power corrupts” along with the fact how undemocratic this was.

    The mayor indicated that she has not used the strong mayor designation at any time. This was challenged by Councillor Nisan.

    The mayor went on and on how she had not used this power and would not. That nothing had changed.

    If this is indeed true why is she fighting so hard to keep this designation?

    The other fact that I came to realize ( before this special council meeting) was that no matter what the result is of the motion put forward concerning the Strong Mayor designation it is left up to the mayor to decide if she wants to give up this designation.

    In effect, we elected council members to represent us but ultimately they may not have any say in some matters that come before them. This does not bode well for the residents of Burlington.

    If the mayor really was listening to the residents she had the opportunity to simply agree when the motion was brought forward. As we know this is not the case.

    How will this council ever be able to work together? How can residents be assured that the elected council members have had any input in decisions that were made on their behalf and if they were done in a democratic manner?

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