Orchard residents get to hear what their Councillor has to say about his performance - the rest of the ward got forgotten.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 16th, 2018


‘There now – that didn’t hurt did it’ is an appropriate comment to make to Councillor Sharman at the end of the debate that took place at the Halton Waldorf school last night.

all candidates

The candidates, all of them this time, listening to Xin Yi Zhang.

The other four candidates for the ward seat showed up and did what they did at the first ward 5 debate that Sharman found he just could not attend because he didn’t know enough about ECoB, the grass roots citizens organization that is evolving into something that has been lacking in Burlington for more than a decade: a group that will help the public speak back to a city council that has not been able to both listen and hear what the people of the city want.

The evening was for the people in the Orchard community, a part of the city that is rich with schools but poor when it comes to parks and places for children to play.

Orchard community entrance sign

It was planned as a community that would be serviced by state of the art transit – that never happened and now they have to cope with serious parking problems.

The less than 200 people that attended were typical Burlington polite and none of the candidates pulled a gaff they couldn’t recover from.

Amy Collard 1

Ward 5 public school board trustee Amy Collard moderated the Q&A sessions.

Traffic congestion and better facilities for the children were top of mind. The question and answer sessions were moderated by Amy Collard, the ward 5 school board trustees who did say at one point that she understood how hard elections were. Ms Collard has never really fought an election – she has always been acclaimed and has served her constituents better than any other school board trustee.

A number of interesting facts came to the surface. The Orchard doesn’t have even one city facility. It has a parking problem that is structural. When the community was being built the plan was to include a state of the art transit service that would serve the community.

The houses got built – the buses never arrived.

Mary Alice

Candidate Mary Alice St. James was the only one who came close to holding the incumbent accountable.

While the event was supposed to focus on the Orchard, the plans to re-develop the Lakeside Plaza got a fair share of the time. Too big, and nothing for the residents was the complaint. The developer wants 900 units, candidate Mary Alice St. James wants to see that cut back to 300 – and forget about the idea of 18 storey building at the edge of Lakeshore Road.


Councillor Sharman, expecting to be re-elected, got through the Orchard Q&A. Getting through the election is another matter.

Councillor Sharman did explain that what the public has seen is what the developer is proposing.

The city has to accept every proposal put in front of them. Planning staff then come up with a recommendation for city council.

Sharman let the room know that he expected to be the council member who would be part of the council that decides. He said that the staff recommendation would get to council in March of next year– but that could be May or June.

There will be at least one more community meeting and then the Statutory public meeting and then to Council – the public could see something in the way of a decision in the summer – which will not keep anyone happy.

Of the less than 200 people in the room – the vast majority were supporters of one candidate or another. There weren’t very many undecided voters in the room.

What was evident is that the Orchard has a focal point – a Facebook page with more than 2000 followers.

This community has found a way to keep in touch.

Glenda Carver

Glenda Carver was called the “Mayor of the Orchard” – they got that one right.

Glenda Carver, the woman who organized the event and runs the Facebook page got described as the “Mayor” of the Orchard.

Mary Alice St. James described the Orchard as school rich and park poor. He comments were the liveliest made during the evening – there was a point at which it looked like she had Councillor Sharman on the ropes but she didn’t follow through. Halfway through the evening it was clear that no one was going to lay a glove on Sharman. He made it through another round.

Daniel R

Daniel Roukema gave the word “collaborate” a solid workout in his closing remarks. Van he walk that talk? He added that he “really wanted the job”

Daniel Roukema has proven to be a strong campaigner. Had he started earlier and had the residents seen him at city council meetings delegating on their behalf he could have been a contender. His financial baggage and legal claims will get in the way of his being able to be an effective member of Council. His working style lacks the collaboration he mentioned seven times in his closing remarks.

Xin Yi Zhang, a kind, quiet gentle man working in the financial sector as an IT specialist, while also working on a doctorate said he knew about traffic congestion. He had been struck by cars on more than two occasions. He uses local transit to get to the GO station; the man certainly walks the talk when it comes to transit.

What was really interesting is that the Orchard community had plenty of asks – all of which are going to cost. Not one word or question about the 4% + tax increases the city has levied.

In 2011 there was a 0% tax increase and it was Paul Sharman who made that happen.

Wendy M

Wendy Moraghan; an all in Burlington girl – Teen Tour Band, Pinedale school, Nelson high school and 30 years with the police force. Is a Council seat next?

Wendy Moraghan admitted that she tended to bring a police service spin to her candidacy; she saw community safety as what results in the quality of life everyone enjoys in Burlington.

She made a telling remark when she explained that the bus that used to run along Spruce – and past the Council members house – doesn’t operate anymore.

The excellent idea that came out of Oakville – to let seniors use the bus free on Mondays – didn’t get approved at council. Councillor Sharman said he needed more data before he could vote for the idea.


It really was an Orchard at one point – one of the best in the province. What it wants now is a swimming pool – they would settle for some splash pads.

What the Orchard showed the community is that it has learned how to communicate amongst themselves – now let’s see who they choose to represent their interests at city hall. The ward 5 election race is going to be one of the most interesting races in the city. The tone of the city council in place on December 3rd when they are sworn in will be determined by the quality of the candidates.

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10 comments to Orchard residents get to hear what their Councillor has to say about his performance – the rest of the ward got forgotten.

  • Kalvin

    @ Lucy… I was surprised to hear that this was your first negative remark about St. James. I have heard from several people that her and her team were aggressive and bullied people into putting up signs. I wasn’t home the one day she was in our neighbourhood but our neighbour had to ask her to leave the property.

  • Louise F.

    I think we all can agree that Paul Sharman has to go. He only shows up when it’s election time.
    Daniel Roukema would run for dog catcher if Burlington had one. He’s as Liberal as they come and we all know how they like to spend OUR money. As Nick L. pointed out, he was practically down on his knees begging for the job as councillor. This guy is polished but seems shady. He appears to be a job hopper and from my experience it’s because job-hoppers can’t work well with others.
    Which brings me to Mary Alice St. James. To quote Ward 1 candidate, Jason Boelhouwer, “If you truly care about where you live and want to make a difference in your community, isn’t that where you should start? Running for election outside of where you live is allowed under the Election Rules but does it make sense for someone living in another part of the City to run in Ward 1?” Seems Jason gets it as do many others. She has no valid reason for running in Ward 5, I don’t care how you spin it.
    I doubt St. James did the legwork she claims regarding the Lakeside Village summer meetings. I know of families within minutes of the plaza and they knew nothing. But I’m sure her grade school science fair set-up would have impressed them. Insert eye roll.
    Perhaps you could ask her why she’s against larger homes in HER Ward but has 2 additions to her own home?
    Signs? Her camp claims that “Mary Alice and her team ALWAYS ask direct permission to the owner before placing a sign.” Sure they do, insert another eye roll. Is that why all her signs were removed from the property at the southwest corner of Appleby and Fairview? I know for a fact that her signs were removed from City property in the Burloak and Orchard areas. All the candidates have seen sign theft and vandalism, it’s certainly not exclusive to St. James.
    C. David Minshall, you seem very interested in Wendy Moraghan and think you know a lot about her. So you think she has no clue of City matters and that she’s generally unknowledgeable. Ohhhhhhhh okay. FYI, she didn’t file on the last day so I guess you don’t know everything. A consultant? HAHAHAHAHA She’s spoken and given hundreds of presentations to the public. It’s called being prepared, knowing your material and being organized. Wow, just the qualities a councillor should have!

  • Nick L

    Lucy ….. so you agree then, not residing in Ward 5 is an issue. I am Ward 5 all the way- going on 13 years.“Location, location, location”…. and Burlington for 20 years. 😉

  • Lucy

    Nick L.—Your comment about Mary Alice St. James is the first negative remark I have read/heard about her. The choice in Ward 5 should be for the candidate that is the most experienced and best suited for the role of Councillor, and in particular someone who has already been actively involved fighting the over-intensification of Burlington at City Hall which is the top priority for most residents in every Ward. Mary Alice has already proven herself when it comes to rallying support and organizing neighbourhoods to challenge the big developers. “Location, location, location” may be the key when it comes to real estate, but what counts in the choice for Councillor is “experience, experience, experience”. Mary Alice St. James has much to offer in that regard and has proven herself to be the most qualified choice for Ward 5. I could be mistaken, but I suspect you don’t even live in Ward 5 yourself, do you?

  • Nick L.

    Well, there was no need for him to really show up- it was more of Sharman’s pontificating and yes, sparkling of fairy dust to try to keep people under his spell. He spoke of meetings held during the flood- ya- where he made the home owners feel at fault for the city’s sewage in their own basements…. and ‘saving’ St. Pat’s school?? um, it was the families of St. Pats,’ Ascension and St. Raphael’s that did that. Next he’ll be saying that he drove the asphalt paver himself to get Cherryhill re-done- (a city initiative already set in place…) if he gets in be prepared to get a neck brace to look to the top of those monstrous condos at Lakeside and sit in traffic of fellow Burlington drivers, no they are not all through way drivers…it’s us trying to pickup our kids, go to the doctors, get groceries, work, church, functions…..

    Lots of talk on the streets, walking and talking to neighbours and friends…. Mary Alice seems to come up as the person most likely to win for most annoying- for begging to put a sign up- even pleading that she has spent over $9000 in signs and she should be able to put hers up right next to everyone else’s signs and 4 per lawn even :). Perhaps she could put some in her neighbourhood in Ward 4 :).

    Daniel wasn’t afraid to practically beg for the job- but will he last a term? his resume and entrepreneurship experiences appear quite flippant and non- compliant…? and yes, Tied tight with the Liberals. Perhaps not quite as transparent as he says he is.

    Wendy Moraghan has shown integrity throughout this entire campaign and proves she can hold her own -walking the talk throughout this campaign as well shining the brightest in all the debates. She is passionate about her homegrown roots here in Ward 5. She is proactive, accessible, reliable and will do her due diligence to serve her very own neighbours…. all the way from Lakeshore to Dundas and including The Orchard. She does bring the word Care to the Community and has the highest potential to evolve a #BetterBurlington.

    • C. David Minshall

      As a person supporting MaryAlice, I would like to say that she is the only one of the candidates from the get go who knew her stuff going into her candidacy. She has been delegating at City Hall for 5 years to get protections for neighbourhoods. She has a strong base throughout the City as she has thousands of connections and noot just from the educator sector. As a principal she has had to collaborate with Police Departments, Fire Departments, the Public Health Sector, all Seniors facilities, and the Region. Pretty much anyone who has a brain knows how qualified a retired Principal would be.
      On the other hand, Ms. Moraghan had no clue of City Matters going into this whole job. She filed her candidacy on the last day that nominations were allowed.
      Just one look at her when she showed up at the Lakeside Plaza meeting in August and saw how prepared everyone else was (especially MaryAlice) and you could tell how un knowledgable Ms. Moraghan was.
      Anyone who saw the 4 Candidates meeting (the one co-ordinated by ECoB that Sharman refused) in September, knows she had her notes prepared by a consultant, she memorized what she was supposed to know. She had everything typed and arranged and in sections according to the what the potential questions would be. Its pretty visible in the video. ProActive? No. Quick learner? Maybe. Copycat? Its pretty obvious.
      And Im sorry, her proposition to transit is to add Electric Buses? Talk about Pie in the Sky! Does anyone really know how EXPENSIVE one electric car is let alone a City Bus? Will never happen! The City doesn’t put enough money into Transit now to have the routes restructured! Ms. Moraghan is grasping at straws.
      In MaryAlice’s defence, she is funding her own campaign. When every night, more of her signs are damaged, vandalized, or missing, while everyone else’s are not touched, one has to wonder. Even on properties with all candidates signs, I would drive by, and the St. James sign was the only one on the ground. Kids? Maybe. Curious.
      If you were spending 12-15 grand on a campaign Nick, you would be upset too I think.
      It takes a lot of courage besides money for all these candidates to run, and I think if you would put yourself in their shoes Nick, you might think differently. I think if you drive enough, Nick, you will also find that Moraghan has multiple signs up on many properties. One has NO RIGHT TO JUDGE, especially without knowing all the evidence.

  • Louise F.

    I watched the video of the debate. How come no mention of the soon-to-be Halton Waldorf High School? Kinda thought that was a timely Orchard topic? And don’t tell me that no one submitted a question about that.

    Daniel Roukema says he has “no other (political) aspirations”. I call BS. Two unsuccessful runs for Halifax City Council, up until a few weeks ago was the President of the Oakville North-Burlington Provincial Liberal Riding Association, currently sits (along with his wife) on the Board of Directors of the Oakville North-Burlington Federal Liberal Riding Association and his wife was seeking the nomination for the same Provincial riding earlier this year. In theory, municipal politics should be non-partisan but in reality, that simply isn’t true. I guess I wouldn’t want voters to know I was a die-hard Liberal either.

    Open? Transparent? Hardly.

  • Ryon

    Sharman getting re-elected scares the crap out of me! I was naive and trusted that he would do his job but he literally threw a bunch of us under the bus! He cannot be re-elected!!!

    Perhaps Daniel was late getting started because he was too busy assisting her wife as she ran for a seat with the Liberals in the recent election, or perhaps him and his wife were too busy recruiting for the Oakville-Burlington North Riding for the Liberal party where both him and his wife are on the board (him president). Even if we assume that he has left the Liberals to be non-partisan (unlikely), his legal issues with ICCRC alone should make him even more of a liability than Sharman if elected.

  • Susan L.

    Transit has been a problem for years. The following is from April, 2012:

    “It’s not that he’s anti-transit, says Sharman. It’s just that he’s not persuaded the heavy public subsidy for bus service in his affluent, car-centric community of 176,000 is justified.” https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2012/04/12/burlington_slow_to_climb_aboard_transit.html

  • Lucy

    Paul Sharman is a champion in promoting the over-intensification of Burlington. The developers must love him and eagerly contribute to his re-election campaign. In an election flyer, Mr. Sharman declares he is ready and willing to approve 720 units for the Lakeshore Village Plaza which is 3.84 hectares, instead of the original 900 proposed. What a pathetic, measly reduction that equals. The 720 units equals 187.5 units per hectare on that site which equates to and even surpasses a Residential High Density designation (RHD=76 units to 185 units/hectare). However, that plaza area is designated as Residential Medium Density (26 to 75 units/hectare). That means Mr. Sharman is all for the rezoning and approval of amendments that this profit-hungry developer is seeking. Don’t be fooled! This is the tricky way Paul operates and tries to fool the residents. If Mr. Sharman, is re-elected the residents of east Lakeshore, and all Ward 5 residents, (as well, as the rest of the city for that matter) will be re-electing a Councillor who has continuously supported over-intensification and contributed to the major problem issues Burlington residents have been hollering about for several years now.

    I have read often that election results in a Ward with so many candidates favours the incumbent. That really has me worried. I have more than once made clear who gets my vote for Mayor and Ward 5 Councillor. My decision is based on two individuals who have strongly opposed over-intensification, not just through their election platform statements, but in real action: Marianne Meed Ward for Mayor (her voting record proves she is worthy) and Mary Alice St. James for Ward 5 (experienced in delegating on this very issue and her recent amazing activism against the Lakeside Village Plaza Proposal). I hope that after election day, it will be the citizens of Burlington cheering because of the results and not the developers doing cartwheels of joy because ‘their’ candidates are victorious.