Running in ward 2 for that Council seat: Keith Demoe is at the least a contender

By Pepper Parr

September 13th, 2022



Keith Demoe decided he wanted to sit on city council partly because he didn’t like the decisions they were making but more importantly to him was the way the decisions were being made.

Demoe come out of that part of the private sector that sees technology, particularly Information Technology, as the tool that is going to solve all our problems.

He spent 20 years with SAP – systems, applications, and products.

Keith Demoe takes a clear eyed view on just what the issues are.

He then, with a partner, went out on their own to market extensions to the SAP applications.

He prospered.

He first described himself as a progressive but didn’t expand on just what that meant.

Our meeting, which took up the best part of two hours started with Demoe telling me that he wanted to create a portal, an electronic address if you will, that ward 2 people could go to to find all the information they wanted.

Demoe was clearly not aware of the Service Burlington department in place to provide just that service.

Demoe believes people in Burlington have great ideas that are not being given the time and attention they deserve. Demoe isn’t going to get any argument for the significant number of people in the city who have given up on the idea of delegating – they don’t feel they are listened to.

In the 11 years the Gazette has been covering city council I cannot recall a single idea/project/initiative that was brought to council as a delegation that was then acted upon.

Demoe wants to be part of a city council that changes that.

He lives in the downtown core – in a condominium.

He has taken a leave of absence from his consulting/application development work and will phase himself out of that job should he be elected.

Once one gets past that first awkward stage with Keith Demoe he get animated.

Like anyone running for public office in Burlington he has views on the intensification that few are very happy about. The facts are what Demoe focuses on – “Burlington is going to have to grow up and not out because there is no more land for new traditional single family residential structures that have been built in the city since the end of WWII.

He looks at the farming sector and wants to know who owns the land and if it isn’t farmers who want to work the fields – then who is it and what do they want to do with the land longer term ?
What bothers Demoe is this: the public is not being given the facts.

The issues as Demoe sets them out on his web site.

Expanding the urban boundary which stops at Hwy 5 and the 407, is a huge concern for many. The moment you move that boundary as much as a foot north it will be very hard to stop it going further – the only immediate impediment is that the land is not serviced – which would result in more estate type housing.

Keith Demoe: his thinking does focus on the real problems.

At this point Demoe has no problem pointing to what he sees as the huge problem: the different interests between those who want affordable housing so they can actually live in Burlington and those who want to protect their equity.

Protecting their equity means having property values that are sky high that make it possible for people to sell and bank a considerable capital gain on the house they bought 20 years ago and those who at this point in time can’t get past the inability to come up with the required down payment.

While his views do not appear to be cast in stone his thinking does focus on the real problem. Demoe wants facts on the table so that voters can make informed decisions

Where is the Demoe campaign funding coming from? Keith is using his own money to cover his campaign costs – any money from outside the immediate family would be small donations from people he knows.

The Paletta interests have reached out to him – he hasn’t met with anyone yet

Demoe intends to make heavy use of video – I got the sense it would be along the lines of what Marianne Meed Ward did in her 2010 election.

Right now the campaign is a boots on the ground, knocking on doors operation where he is listening and taking notes.

Keith Demoe is at the least a contender.

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8 comments to Running in ward 2 for that Council seat: Keith Demoe is at the least a contender

  • Keith Demoe

    Dave, when one starts with campaign, they have their own set of ideas they bring to the table. As you go around talking to residents, you learn a lot from them and some of issues take priority.

    In my case, the number one challenge with most residents in downtown area is the high rises that are lined up for development in the coming years.
    Intensification, traffic, and city services will become some of the main issues facing residents living downtown, if these OLT appeals are not dealt with properly.
    I’m campaigning a development plan that would stop these appeals from going through or moving forward. The first part is the city/region government needs to accept that it will grow and must meet demands of population growth. A plan for new development within city/region that will accommodate growth in the coming years. That means intensification in certain pockets of city/region.
    Look at the facts…1.1 million population by 2050 in Halton Region…currently sitting around 600k. The province is pushing 1.5 million homes mostly in the GTHA. These are absolutes.

    There are two approaches here…first, can the city negotiate with developers and come to some sort of arrangement that works for everyone. Meaning, if a developer owns property in other parts of city, can arrangements be made to let them develop in that area if it can accommodate the bigger buildings. Do we open boundary expansion looking to new responsible development. There are different options available, but what must be accepted is, if you do not show province a plan, the OLT will start approving these projects. It’s already happening, and the developers know local government will lose these appeals. That’s why Mayor Ward got on public tv to criticize the OLT as being a waste of money and there should not be one. Mayor Ward’s website ‘Protected 5,000 acres of prime farmland with a revised Halton growth plan that adds no new growth to Burlington’ …that growth plan means no boundary expansion until 2041. The population will be almost double what it is today…where is everyone going to live?? You cannot go to an OLT appeal with ‘we don’t want anymore development in Burlington’…the city will lose. But that seems to be the plan lead by Marianne Ward and Councilor Kearns. There are also other challenges with no mention of affordable housing and just helping people in general. And do not say, Mayor Ward and Councilor Kearns do believe in initiatives like this…if they did, it would be on their websites and campaigning it.
    There is also the preparation for these OLT meetings…how was information put together, who put it together, were they detailed with multiple layers of data from infrastructure side of things – hydro, water, services etc.

    Tim O’Brian mentioned, get better lawyers…but that’s not going to solve anything. Of course, legal means a lot, but the collection and consolidation of the data is significant in leveraging position. Then there is the province and negotiating with them…’show that we have a plan for growth’. Regarding legal, I just learned that it has now been approved to 500k…that’s just on this one application. These appeals should never have started to begin with…we need responsible people in local government.

    I will have a video up on this in next day…send me your email to Thanks..

    • I live in Ward 2 and voted for Lisa Kearns in 2018. Don’t know why really. But you are calling things out for what they really are. The province will be relying on developers to appeal many applications across the GTHA to help push their mandates. So having a growth plan to present to OLT is very important in establishing a positive position. I have also seen your website. You have won my vote Keith.

    • Dave Turner

      Mr. Demoe

      Maybe you have not been paying attention for the past couple of years. Burlington has through completed and planned developments, already met the growth targets set by the Province.

      Also the fight has not been about stopping intensification. It has been about where that intensification should take place. It would seem from the results of the 2018 election both Council and residents were set against the intensification being in the downtown core in the form of ultra high rise condos. Particularly condo buildings with no “affordable” housing component.

      Council spent alot of time and effort to put a new OP in place that clearly sets out a plan for where the majority of the intensification is to take place – at the 3 GO Stations. Burlington will exceed its Provincially set targets. Unfortunately the City was hamstrung by being saddled with the ultra high rise development applications being adjudicated under the inherited non-complient OP, which designated the John St bus stop as an MTSA and the downtown as a UGC. Two facts latched onto by developers as justification for why their applications should be approved, and sustained by the OLT.

      Have you not noticed the OLT ignores the City’s plans and residents wishes.

      Taking farm land is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Take the farm land and where will the crops be grown? That is no plan!

      Negotiate with developers you say. Dreaming in technicolour !!

      So let’s say the cost to build a condo building is the same whether in the core or by Apeby GO. A condo in the core overlooking the lake sells for $800,000 and the same condo at the GO sells for say $600,000. Why would the developer give up the core location for the GO location? Why would investors settle for a lower return on investment?

      Both the Mayor and Councilor Kearns have on numerous occasions both at Council/Committee and at Statutory Development Meetings have questioned and railed against developers over the lack of affordable housing.

      It has been suggested before by others that the City should establish a Housing Corporation like the Toronto Housing Corporation, to develop, own and manage its own stock of rental affordable (low cost) Housing. The City would look to the Provincial Government for financing. What are your thoughts on that?

      • Keith Demoe

        Dave, Burlington has not been meeting any targets, that’s why this is all happening. The new provincial targets just came out (1.5 million new homes Ontario), so not sure where you going with this. Halton Region is expected to grow to 1.1 million people (next 25 years), currently sitting around 600k. Where is everyone going to live?? I stated from Mayor Ward’s website ….no new development in Burlington’…that means none!!

        Couple of your comments…

        ‘Both the Mayor and Councilor Kearns have on numerous occasions both at Council/Committee and at Statutory Development Meetings have questioned and railed against developers over the lack of affordable housing.’

        Not true…If this was the case, they would be campaigning it and at very least be on their websites.

        ‘Taking farm land is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Take the farm land and where will the crops be grown? That is no plan!’

        Not true…the 5000 acres of open land in Halton Region is already owned by developers…have been for decades. Any farming done there is through companies hired by land owners/developers to grow crop so land is not taxed. Most people don’t know that. Big grocers buy from everywhere and Ontario already has a large farming base with plenty of room to grow.

        The campaign that Mayor Ward and Counselor Kearns run on is ‘no new development’. The reason is because their base of voters are mostly home owners who do not under any circumstances want their inflated home values to go down. So you can rule out any concern both these two have for affordable housing or helping those who struggle. All the apartments I have been to, Lisa Kearns has never visited….she doesn’t care.

        If elected, I will be that councilor that will call things out for what is really happening. I will provide all facts to people, so more informed decisions are made. People want to know all facts. You are not going to get that from Mayor Ward or Councilor Kearns…they have their own agendas.

        You started off with an incorrect comment…’Burlington has through completed and planned developments, already met the growth targets set by the Province.’ …if they had, the Province wouldn’t be pushing the 1.5 million new homes mandate, which is only 3 months old…so clearly Burlington hasn’t been meeting these new targets or past for that matter.

        I’m going to be very clear about this…if Mayor Ward and Councilor Kearns are in charge of this build applications…the OLT will side with developers. They want a growth plan presented, which neither of these two want to do. They are not looking at the bigger picture and their lack of reason will cost millions in legal fees that were not necessary. 2020 Lakeshore is over 250k and they have budgeted for 500k on legal. That’s on one application!! There are currently 9 in front of OLT in Ward 2 alone…23 in Burlington.

      • Any planning on development from the Province is new, so Burlington could not be meeting objectives. Keith is correct, this mess has been created from lack of responsible government over the years. I have 3 kids and not one of them can even buy a home and all 3 make over 100k/year. You need to be making well over 200k a year to even look at owning a home. Also, the area of land Keith mentioned in mostly between Oakville and Milton. That land is not farmed on and it’s owned by large building corps. Keith is the only one running, not just in this ward, but across Halton that is presenting the real story. I voted in 2018 for both Lisa Kearns and Marianne Ward, but they have no plan for new development in other areas. How can you beat the OLT when you have no plan??

        • Dave Turner

          Mr Delima

          I believe you are incorrect. The Province sets growth targets from time to time. Those targets are for many years down the road – the long term not the short term. The Mayor has said on a number of occasions that the City has met or is well on the way to meeting all short and medium term population targets.

          I totally understand about the difficulty your kids have getting on the property ladder. I have the exact same problem. One daughter earning just over $100,000 a year cannot qualify for a mortgage. She rents a one bedroom condo in Liberty Village paying monthly rent of about $2,000. I have promised her a $100,000 down payment. But a 2 bedroom condo (buying a one bedroom is not a good idea). A 2 bedroom goes for between $600,000 and $700,000. She does not qualify for a $500,000 or $600,000 mortgage.

          Developers get better returns on investment dollars building higher end condos. So will not enter the affordable housing market.

          The City, in my opinion, needs to focus first on providing affordable rental units. I made a suggestion previously in this thread, which you have ignored. Please give your thoughts on my suggestion. Please also let us know how you propose to convince developers to forego the best rates of return.

  • Dave Turner

    It seems both Demoe and O’Brien are saying they are knocking on doors listening to residents and noting their concerns. Ha ING filed papers to run in the election should they not have already done their listening and now be knocking on doors telling redidents how each will address the issues.

    I certainly for one want to hear their positions and action plans on:-

    – City services
    – property taxes
    – intensification
    – traffic congestion

    Unless you have been living under a rock it is well known these are issues that concern residents. So candidates, how will you address each bearing in mind your very limited jurisdiction?

    Candidate Marsden continues to ignore questions asked of her.

  • Dan-14

    He makes sense to me, sounds like he wants to shake up the establishment expose hiden agenda’s. Keith has my vote.