Public meeting on the Bateman matter - virtual - if it were live the public would be throwing eggs at the political and administrative leadership

By Staff

May 26th, 2022



If they were selling tickets for this event it would be sold out in an hour.

The city is hosting a public meeting on Robert Bateman High School proposals to provide information and to seek feedback on a proposed land transaction with the Halton District School Board (HDSB) and leasing arrangements with the HDSB and Brock University for the City’s planned acquisition of the Robert Bateman High School building and property. The meeting will include senior staff from the HDSB.

This is the sports field the city wants to sell the school board.


This is the school the city wants to buy. They plan to use some of the space and rent some of the space back to the school board and to Brock University.

Details are:

• Tuesday, May 31, 2022  – • 7 to 8:30 p.m.
• Virtual meeting,
• Registration is not necessary

The public meeting will involve a presentation, followed by a Q&A session.

Following the public meeting additional feedback will be sought through the City’s online engagement portal.

The City of Burlington’s intention to purchase Robert Bateman is a significant and long-term strategic matter that requires the City and the HDSB continue to share as much information as we can, and to make certain that the public is informed enough to provide feedback.

A survey had been made available to seek input into the proposed land transaction and lease arrangements, however, we believe more background information should be shared with residents on the City’s interest in purchasing Robert Bateman before we seek the public’s input, so the survey was paused.

The results of the survey are publicly available.

The proposed transaction with the HDSB would see the City transfer ownership of approximately five acres of City owned land to the HDSB as a component of a land exchange for the Robert Bateman site. The City owned land in question is located near Burlington Central High School and includes the high school football field and running track.

Securing the lands near Burlington Central High School in HDSB ownership has been consistent with the HDSB’s long term intention to continue operating Burlington Central as a school. This land exchange component will advance the City’s efforts to secure the Robert Bateman site in continued public ownership, ensuring that the Robert Bateman site is available for continued educational and community-oriented uses.

That’s their story and they are sticking to it.

Some questions ?

Who is going to facilitate the event ?

Will the Q&A be run like a council meeting.

How much back and forth is there going to be.

Will this event be like many the city has put on – they do all the talking with the last 20 minutes open for questions

The city has all kinds of documents – what has never been released – it may not exist – is a detailed report on just how the Bateman site will work.  The best the public has at this point is a sense that there is an idea that has merit – but nothing so far in the way of a wide open session with the public at the table and treated as the senior partner in this venture.  It is public money that is being spent

There is much more to say on what has become a very messy matter.


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4 comments to Public meeting on the Bateman matter – virtual – if it were live the public would be throwing eggs at the political and administrative leadership

  • Penny Hersh

    Mr. Turner, As yet we have no idea if the public will be allowed to ask any questions.

    I have asked Councillor Kearns this question. I received an email from Councillor Kearns that provided me with the Press Release from the Communications Team which does not answer any questions at all regarding public participation. My guess is that everything has to go through this Team before a councillor can respond or not be able to respond to a resident’s question.

    We also have no idea who from senior staff will be attending this meeting, who will be asking or answering the questions during the Q & A portion of the meeting.

    For the record I did email back both the Councillor, Kwab Ako-Adjei, and Suzanne Vukosavijevic who were copied on the email that I received asking for answers prior to the meeting.

    Are you aware that the Burlington Performing Arts Centre has their Season Launch for members who are able to purchase tickets to performances prior to the public? Are you aware that the Burlington Performing Arts Centre depends heavily on this event?

    Why would the City schedule such an important public meeting at the same time? Was there a communication problem?

    • Dave Turner

      Ms Hersh, you would make a good politician. You did not answer the question. You danced all around it but never answered. The qustion was “will you be taking the opportunity to seek to voice your question in person at the virtual meeting?”

      Asking your question of the Councilor or City staff prior to the public meeting and expecting a meaningful response is very naïve. Nobody will say anything until the meeting has taken place.

      Not knowing the format of the Q&A portion of the virtual meeting should not preclude you from answering my question. Let’s assume the format will afford you the opportunity to ask your question, will you take that opportunity and ask it? That question to you requires a simple Yes or No responses from you please.

      BTW as pointed out by another Gazette reader the Performing Arts Centre has just 720 audience seats. That number represents less than half of one percent of this City’s population of around 187,000. You want the other 99 50% of the population to put this matter on hold? Really?

  • Penny Hersh

    So many questions, so few answers.

    How public is this meeting? The Q & A -will questions come from the public who are “invited” to virtually watch the meeting? Who will be facilitating this portion of the meeting if indeed the public will be able to ask questions?

    Senior Staff is mentioned in the bulletin. Will all council members be part of the discussion? If yes, are they the ones who will be asking the questions?

    Will the discussion include some actual costing of the project including the price to purchase the Robert Bateman property and what the HDSB would be paying for the sports field?

    My question would be Why doesn’t Brock University buy the property and the City lease space in it?

    This money might be better spent buying LaSalle Park from Hamilton.

    I would also suggest you click on “results of the survey” and see what information the city has provided.

    • Dave Turner

      Ms Hersh. You say your question would be:-

      “Why doesn’t Brock University buy the property and the City lease space in it?”.

      As one who voices her disappointment &/or disapproval on most happenings in the City and one who demands Council listen to her and other residents of similar views; will you be taking the opportunity to seek to voice your question in person at the virtual meeting?