Political wisdom is out there for the taking; several quotations that should be in the reading list of every member of Council

By Pepper Parr

November 28th, 2022



From time to time the Gazette has made reference to several well known quotes.

A favourite is that Lord Acton quote:

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

A week or so ago I came across another as I was reading my Sunday New York Times.

“Power reveals” Indeed is does.

A third one that strikes more than a chord:

“Politics changes politicians more than it changes society.”

Politics is power, used wisely it can and has brought about change.

Adapting to having power calls for more than the current city council has managed to display.

Few have taken to heart the words of Jim Young who said in a delegation that the power the Councillors had was given to them by those who voted. Young went further, adding that the power every voter has is given to those elected in trust and they are expected to be seen as trust worthy

Burlington 2022 – 2026 City Council. Councillor Stolte did not take part: Covid19 complications

There is still an opportunity for the seven to reflect and consider what they are doing and why.


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4 comments to Political wisdom is out there for the taking; several quotations that should be on the reading list of every member of Council

  • Jim Young

    Yes Alfred, you are in fact mistaken, not only about what that particular delegation was about, it was actually about, proposed changes to city rules for delegations, which we got, then, city coucil to rescind, but you are wrong on so many other matters, about me and my thoughts on this council performance, I don’t have time to count them. However, I am glad my “comedy act” keeps you amused, with Doug Ford in power for the next three and a half years, there won’t be much to laugh about.

  • Alfred

    Jim Young.

    If I’m not mistaken, your delegation to the previous council. Was to disregard Provincial Policy Mandates and make up their own. Completely contrary to the Planning Act of Ontario and Provincial Guidelines. That is the responsibility of the other fairly elected Government the PC’s and Doug Ford that the people of Ontario voted for, to Govern housing matters. Any delegation of those powers to the City come with specific duties and instruction to follow Provincial Guidelines period when it comes to housing matters. It does not direct the Mayor to attempt to overthrow the Provincial OLT.

    With the amount of times you and your group and the Mayor have been destroyed and will continue to lose all your cases at and by the OLT. decisions. Clearly you and your group have no understanding of who makes the final decisions. Premier Ford and Bill 23 will put all the time and money wasting Mayors and Nimby’s in the back closet and out of the way hopefully forever. It appears you want to get rid of the referee. Because your team can’t play by the book and are clueless on housing matters.

    Until you start to win some OLT decisions. It’s difficult to take you serious. More of a comedy act really. How have these new councilors and Mayor worked out for you so far?

    • While perhaps unrelated to these circumstances Alfred’s point regarding losing decisions does have some merit. At a public meeting to discuss the ICBL we supported a Maple Villa and Molinara exemption to the ICBL for public interest reasons. All three requests were ignored and the minutes in our case totally misrepresented our position.

      Maple Villa took their position to Tribunal and as a party we supported their position because it was in the public interest. The city failed to defend their previous position and they got the exemption which was clearly in the public interest.

      Next came a repeat of the Molinara request for exemption which we again supported because again it was in the public interest. Same result. While don’t support all those decisions taken to OLT/LPAT we will continue to address the issues that reflect poor decision making that affect the well-being and interests of families and businesses of Burlington and the unnecessary use of tax dollars to support such decisions. Times are too hard to allow the city to waste precious resources to defend the indefensible which occurs in our minds far too often.

      If legal costs were not off limits to the public until damage is all done we think far less would be flushed.

  • Jim Young

    While it is flattering to be quoted alongside the New York Times and Lord Acton, it should be clear that the delegation you quote was aimed at a previous council whom residents voted out of office in 2018.
    While far from perfect, our present council, is far more responsive to residents than that council. On the whole I am still mostly supportive of this council. The old quoted delegation does not make this clear.