Meed Ward sets out what she will campaign on - will fill the leadership vacuum at city hall.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2018



She is now in full campaign mode. At a dead end street in Aldershot she told a gathering of about 40 people – maybe 50, that her name was Marianne Meed Ward.

“I currently represent Ward 2 on city and regional council and I am running for Mayor.

“I’m here today to talk about the future of our city, and the upcoming municipal election on October 22 because there is a vacuum in leadership in this city.”

“Our Burlington, the city we all love, is at a crossroads.

“Our community has a choice to make about the kind of city we want, now and for the future.

And we have a choice to make about the kind of leadership we want to get us there.

Show whuch ward

Supporters at the Meed WArd campaign launch showing which ward they live in.

Our family chose to move to Burlington to raise our family. We came here for the parks and trails, our unparalleled waterfront, farming on our doorstep, active community centres, and small town charm and friendliness. The first day we moved into this area, our neighbours welcomed us with homemade banana bread.

These are some of the same reasons many of you have chosen Burlington as your home.

For life long residents, this is why you chose to stay here to live, work, play, raise a family, or retire.

MMW speaking Ap 11

Mead Ward telling her supporters what she was going to do for them.

I love Burlington; I love the people of Burlington, so many of whom are gathered with us here today.

We have all benefited from the legacy of the people who came before us. When they imagined a future for us, they gave us parks, trees, beautiful neighbourhoods, heritage character, protected farmland and so much more.

They also had to fight to save these things along the way. Did you know:

Residents protected the north end of Central Park from development?

Saved Freeman Station not once, but twice?

Built Spencer Smith waterfront park from a break wall?

Protected the rural area from a quarry expansion and a highway going through it?

Saved massive trees along Lakeshore Road from a planned road expansion, and delivered the city’s first (and so far only) female mayor, Mary Munro, in 1977)?

This is an amazing community, a strong community, where residents have made their voices heard, shaped our own future together working with our elected representatives. We can do it again.

What kind of city are we creating for future generations, and for the people who live, work and play here today?

Our Burlington needs us to step up again.

Because Burlington is about to change dramatically, and not for the better.

We are facing over-development; our roads, community centres, seniors centre, and parks aren’t keeping up, the public feels shut out of decisions; our transit is inefficient and ineffective; our businesses are forced out replaced by shiny towers or mid-rise with token retail; our farmers are struggling under red tape and regulation and wonder if they can make a living; we are losing some of our young farmers; with rising house costs, young people wonder if they can even buy a house or stay here.

At the root of this is a leadership vacuum.

We will not change the direction we are headed without a change of leadership on council.

You might be wondering why I chose to make this announcement, here in in Aldershot. It’s because it’s an example of the negative change that’s happening in our city, and not the only.

Identifyng their ward Team sweater

Will we see hundreds of people wearing T-shirts with this message? The October municipal election will be critical – voters are being given very clear choices.

This community is also where I first ran for office in 2006, and our slogan at the time was “end sprawl, build community”. That could describe our situation today with a slight modification: “end vertical sprawl, build community.”

I’d like everyone to take a minute and look around. What do you see?

Single family homes, front lawns, greenspace, trees, businesses nearby.

I was out speaking with some of the residents on this street yesterday, and there’s a deep history of our Burlington here. This area was given to veterans returning from the War. Some of the children and families of those veterans still live here.

Dottie Mair, who lives down the street, is 95 years old, she still describes herself as a “war bride” She moved here a year after she was married.

Dottie told me the street was called “Clearview” because when it was first settled, you had a clear view to Burlington Bay.

This community is about to change dramatically.

This area is part of the Aldershot Mobility Hub in the city’s proposed new Official Plan.

On one side of this street there is a proposed 20+ storey buildings here in the area we are standing; 12-19 storey buildings across the street, and 7-11 storey buildings lining both sides of Clearview from Queen Mary to Plains Road, and along Queen Mary to St. Matthews. The homes facing St. Matthews will have up to 11 storey buildings abutting their back yards.

The character of this community is about to be obliterated.

Residents have been told that the new Official Plan will direct intensification, especially high rises, away from established neighbourhoods like this one.

Over development in our community isn’t just proposed in the new OP, it’s already here.

And it’s coming to neighbourhoods across our city:

MMW soeaking - full length Ap 11

Meed Ward – delivering the message at her candidate announcement meeting.

In Ward 1: Residents here in Aldershot have seen retail plazas become apartments and townhouse complexes, with token retail; a 12 storey proposal has just been submitted for the end of this street. The area has seen some of the highest growth of the city, but you still haven’t gotten a grocery store in the west end.

In Ward 6: Residents in Alton fought overdevelopment of two towers in their area. Traffic is already choked, and where is the park for these kids to play?

In Ward 5: Residents in South East Burlington have fought the proposed mid-rise on Pinedale at the Fortinos plaza and are closely watching what proposals will come to Lakeside Plaza.

Business is also at risk. In Ward 5: Proposed high-rise development at Appleby and Upper Middle requires conversion of employment lands, and could put existing employment uses at Sofina Foods at risk – which employs 1000 people and wants to add another shift of 1000 people

In Wards 1 & 3: The Havendale and Brant Hills neighbourhoods on both sides of Brant St have spoken out against the overdevelopment proposed at 2100 Brant St

MMW crib notes

Marianne Meed Ward is a very relaxed speaker. She usually has a set of notes which she ignores most of the time. We never quite understood how she kept on track when delivering long speeches – she writes crib notes on her hand.

And in Ward 2, which I represent, Ward 2: There are potentially 26 towers proposed for downtown under the new OP of 17 storeys or more. Taller ones are already here:

– 23 storeys approved last November at Brant & James, across from City Hall, which I did not support.
– There’s now a 24 storey proposal across the street from that, and an 18 storey application further down the street at James & Martha St
– 26 storey at Martha & Lakeshore approved by the Ontario Municipal Board

This is just a snapshot of what’s already here, and what’s coming down the line in Burlington.

Canada’s best mid-size city deserves a better plan. The people of Burlington deserve a better plan, for today, and for tomorrow.

I’ve now been on council for 8 years, talking to residents, advocating for businesses as a member of the Burlington Downtown Business Association, standing up for you on important issues, learning the ins and outs of governing so I can serve you better. Many of the people here today and been with me on that journey. Though we haven’t gotten everything we worked for (yet!) we’ve had many successes along the way that have made our city better.

Right now, at this critical time in the life of our city, serving our community is where I’m meant to be.

I’m running for three reasons: Here’s what’s at stake:

1. We have a leadership vacuum at City Hall, and that vacuum is being filled by private interests setting the agenda, not citizens.

2. Burlington is Everyone’s City, but recent decisions, and upcoming proposals have left people wondering: Who’s City Is It?” A Spectator columnist said she hasn’t seen this much citizen unrest in 45 years of participating in civic matters.

3. Residents want to see your aspirations reflected in our decisions at City Hall, and especially our spending, you want your priorities to be our priorities. But many people have told me you don’t see yourself in what we do. Instead of a participant in creating a great city, you feel like a “hapless spectator.” I’ve heard residents say they are considering moving out. We are poised to lose our best assets: our people!

But together we can do something about it! Changing times call for a strong voice for our community as mayor, who will put Residents First.

Here are three things we will do together:

SaveOurWaterfront- Meed ward

The waterfront was her issue in the 2010 election.

As your mayor On Leadership: I will open City Hall and invite the community in, rebuild the relationship between city hall and residents, and restore trust.

You know my track record as someone who tells you what’s happening in advance (not after the fact), gives you the straight goods (going beyond press releases and platitudes) gives you My Take, so you can hold me accountable. I do more than listen – your input shapes decisions.

I stand up for you – sometimes against significant odds, instead of staying safely on the sidelines and avoiding the hot potato issues. I’m not afraid to put motions on the floor – even if they lose, the discussion moves the matter a little further down the field, and one step closer to success. And though the 6-1 get the headlines, more of my motions pass than fail.

I model respectful debate and civility – in council chambers among staff, residents and council – leading the way forward

I will put development in its place. The right project, the right scale, the right location. Residents are not anti-development. Residents don’t want to stop development. Residents don’t want to react to development. You just want to shape it.

We need to stop the over-intensification that’s adding congestion and eliminating greenspace, stop downplaying the impact by saying only 5% will change. Stop blaming the province for making us grow – we are meeting or exceeding our targets.

As your mayor On Your Priorities: I will focus on quality of life, not just quantity of people, and focus spending on your priorities, not internal entitlements.

That means investing in transit, so it gets people where they need to go quickly

That means protecting and adding trees and greenspace; unlike neighbouring municipalities we don’t have a tree canopy target.

That means adding community amenities; we lag behind area municipalities on community centres, parks, seniors’ centres

That means taking steps towards affordable housing for young people, families and seniors

That means eliminating red tape and unnecessary delays for businesses

That means doing far more than passively protecting our rural land (which the province did in 2006): we need to look out for our farmers, and eliminate barriers to viable agricultural industry. We have to stop pitting our urban area and rural area against each other, and bring our community together.

As your mayor I promise you that and more.

Big on providing services. Political enough to be on the winning side?

Big on providing services. She has been known to go out and pick up garbage that was on a street.

I promise that I will stand up for you, stand with you, and implement your vision for our community, to get us back on track as the best city to live, play, work, retire and raise a family.

And you can count on that promise, because it’s what we’ve already been doing for the last eight years.

We don’t have to wait to October to bring change; we can get started today.

Our city’s proposed Official Plan is coming to the Planning & Development Committee April 24 for adoption. I’m the only one on council who voted to press pause on this process and get this right.


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10 comments to Meed Ward sets out what she will campaign on – will fill the leadership vacuum at city hall.

  • Melanie Pepper

    I would love to work on her campaign. I
    Will contact her office on Monday to volunteer.

  • Joe Gaetan

    Marianne has served her Ward well, she listens, is thoughtful, and asks the right questions. In my experience and I often brought issues to her attention, Marianne always acted quickly and personally or referred my questions to the appropriate staff person when that was required. I moved into this ward in 2013 and am sorry to see her leave but also wish her well. Burlington is at a crossroads and her talents are needed more than ever.

  • Susie

    Dittos to all the compliments of Marianne Meed Ward’s abilities, she definitely is the one for the position of Mayor. I am on board with her 150% and will support her all the way. Unfortunately no matter what position she holds, she is still only one vote!!!! Too bad the mind sets of the existing, and those newbies coming forward in October don’t decipher the same page of the OP “together” with same thoughts. They all seem to go in different directions leaving us with an unsuccessful vote to what should have been the unanimous intelligent one?? At present, Mayor Goldring sits back and is intelligent, observant, etc. but is not an up and front leader. Congratulation Marianne, and we wish you all the success!!

  • What an exciting possibility- an intelligent, caring woman – Marianne Meed Ward- will become our next mayor. I’ve seen Mayors come and go in Burlington since 1947, and some were good and some were too timid to do much good. This lady will make a difference. She’s tough, honest and wants to please the people of Burlington. I will certainly work for her campaign and do everything I can to assure her victory.

  • M.Wilson

    Truly hope we can find an ally rather than an opponent to our community. The Councillor in Ward #1 Rick Craven has to go!

  • Judy Gilbert

    Marianne, in your news letters each month you have always been on our side even though the rest of council wasn’t. You have represented ward 2 well. Thank you. I am so glad and relieved that you are running for Mayor.

  • Stu Parr

    It was an “announcement” Mr. Woodruff not a detailed articulation of her policy platform. Wait for it, it will come. Perhaps we could encourage you to run for Councillor in Ward 1 – a worthwhile goal that does not exceed your reach.

  • I guess after 5 years of people reporting a problem with the development trajectory down here in Aldershot I guess some acknowledgement is nice. Still nothing in the way of solutions though.

    More political doublespeak designed so everyone hears what they want to by a politician saying nothing.

    “The right project, the right scale, the right location.” – no definition of what is appropriate.
    I’ll invest in “your priorities” – with no specification as what she thinks those are.
    I’ll invest in “transit” – without specifying what that means. Road expansion or busses?
    She will create “affordable housing” – how exactly?

    It’s a collection of popular sound bites – not a platform. These problems are self-evident to everyone now – explain what to do about them now.

    • Hans

      I prefer to look on the bright side: we now have a candidate who is intelligent, articulate, and focused on doing what is best for Burlington.
      She’ll get my vote.