Resident is completely embarrassed that the City was not more considerate about taking care of our

News 100 redBy Staff

October 22nd, 2018



There is good news ( a longish line at a polling station) and some disturbing concerns (poor service for seniors) from a resident who was voting today.

I have just voted at Nelson High School. There was a long line out the door when I arrived but it moved at a reasonable pace, taking about 30 min to get through the whole thing. However, I am sure that the dozen or so folks I saw who relied on a walker or cane felt otherwise.

The ceremonies over the Naval Promenade becomes the fous with the Seniors' out in force listening to the All MAle Welsh Choir. Strolling along is Craig Stevens, the city's project manager on the pier project. He direction and oversight kept the project going when it got a little wonky at times - but that's another story.

Seniors with mobility issues need to be considered whenever an event takes place.

There was ZERO assistance available to them, no one greeted them or offered to make things easier or more comfortable, and there was no sign of another option for those with accessibility challenges. Given the fact that services for seniors have been one of the main topics of discussion throughout the election, AND that there is a high percentage of seniors in Ward 4, AND that they are the demographic with traditionally the highest turnout at elections, what kind of accommodations were made for those individuals who might have needed somewhere to sit while waiting for their turn? Better yet, why make them wait at all?

A gentleman in front of me who relied on a cane had to bounce from a stone out front of the school to a chair inside the main doors, to another chair positioned right outside the gym door. It was a horrible location for him to have to sit, but he should not have had to do that in the first place. It was only after I said something to someone who seemed like she worked there that she offered to move him to the front of the line. The fact that all these citizens of Burlington made the effort to come out and vote in spite of their physical limitations says more about their character and commitment to the election process than it does about our City Officials.

I am so upset, and completely embarrassed that the City was not more considerate about taking care of our most valued citizens, that I had to write immediately. Burlington, you can do SO much better than this!

Leslie Barbetta

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11 comments to Resident is completely embarrassed that the City was not more considerate about taking care of our

  • Sue Burkimsher

    I agree, Burlington should do better. I went to Brant Hills Community centre with my husband who uses a walker and can’t stand for more than a minute or so and was offered to butt into the front of the line. Just walk over to the front alone with 30 people who were also waiting was not an option. I waited in line until I was close to the front and left hubby sitting in a chair until then. There should have been a dedicated line for handicapped people.

    • Kevin Visser

      So… chairs were available, they allowed you to skip the line (which is the same thing as a handicapped line), AND on-line voting was available, and “Burlington should do better” !? Some people are never satisfied.

  • Leslie Barbetta

    Hello Everyone… thanks for the comments. As a matter of record, when I forwarded the email to the Gazette, I did mention that I had already sent this letter to everyone on the contact list of City’s Election website, as well as our Ward 4 Candidates. Also, I expressed my concern about the situation to the election worker who was standing at the gym doors, as well as to a woman outside who described herself as a “scrutineer” (she was making sure no one was breaching day election protocol!). She said that she was going to say something to the person in charge inside (presumably the Returning Officer?). Hindsight is 20/20, and after the fact, I felt that I probably could have done more, but the point is, should anyone have to do this in the first place? And if was happening at Nelson, I’m sure it happened elsewhere too. It just did not seem like there was any thought put into it, but I’m glad to know that additional City staff were brought eventually.

    As for on-line voting, I understand the convenience of it, but not everyone is comfortable with that format, or able to do it, for a variety of reasons.

  • Bonnie

    Leslie, thank you for posting this message. I have just returned from Nelson H.S.and additional city staff has been called in to deal with the above mentioned issue.

  • Puzzled

    Leslie Barbetta, you have made a great observation. Thanks for bringing it to the attention of all residents of Burlington.

    I checked the Ontario government website to see what was available on this issue. Here is the part that I copied. Our City Clerk Angela Morgan who is responsible for this municipal election in Burlington should have been following these rules.

    Municipal clerk

    Every municipality has a municipal clerk who is in charge of running the election. Contact your municipal clerk or municipal website if you have questions about the election, such as:

    how or where to vote
    how to apply for election jobs
    whether or not you are eligible to vote in the municipality
    If your municipality does not have a website you could visit or contact your town hall for more information.


    Municipal clerks must keep in mind the needs of all voters when they are planning and running the election. The clerk must also ensure that voting places are accessible.

    The municipal clerk must prepare a plan for identifying, removing and preventing barriers that affect persons with disabilities. This plan must be available to the public before voting day.

    The municipal clerk must also issue a public report on their accessibility plan within 90 days after voting day.

    Someone has dropped the ball here. Could it be the City Clerk Angela Morgan?

    Need I say more.

    • Eve St Clair

      More Accessible by what providing more chairs???? Unfair to blame the City Clerk when the City did remedy situation after it was brought to their attention . My polling station in ward 6 had numerous chairs ,spacious and no line ups, but then again i went late afternoon and not 30 minutes before polls closed .

  • Pam Casey

    Dear Leslie:

    When you got into the area to vote, you should have said something to the Deputy Returning Officer. i am sure that they would have put some chairs out if you had mentioned it.

  • Judy christie

    Good for you Leslie!!! We should be embarrassed. Across from Wellington Terrace on Brant ST.(an assisted living/seniors residence (subsidized by government) must put up with a night club across the street from them 3 nights a week until 2:00 a.m. or later, with patrons shouting and swearing right under their windows. Many cannot sleep and they do not seem to have an advocate. More respect for our residents is needed indeed!!

  • SteveW

    My mother and father (87 and 82) are not voting today due to concerns you have listed. They use walkers and were worried about long lines.

    • Perry Bowker

      Steve W… sorry to hear about your parents declining to vote. However, online voting was available this election for this and other reasons, and generally worked very well. While some people are nervous about this, it should be quite possible to assist anyone to work through the steps and leave the person alone to mark the ballot in private.