Seven debates and what do we know about ourselves?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 10th, 2018



Seven debates later and what do we know about the candidates, the issues and the city we live in ?

We know that there is a hunger for more information on the part of the public.

Despite the rather petty efforts on the part of two of the incumbents: Councillors Sharman and Lancaster who did not take part in the debates the public did get to here from the candidates who understood that when you are a candidate you have to appear before the electors.

Sharman puzzled LVP

Ward 5 candidate Paul Sharman – faces four opponents.

Lancaster said she was threatened and Sharman said ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington had no credibility in the community. This despite the fact that the debate in wards 2 and 1 were packed and the debate between the Mayoralty candidates were packed – people had to sit on the floor in the aisles in one of the debates.


Ward 6 incumbent Blair Lancaster faces three opponents.

Wards 3, 4, 5 and 6 had very very good audiences.

Mike Wallace made the comment that the events were really not debates – they were more Q&A events – and this is true. Burlington with the streak of politeness in its DNA doesn’t like to see real feelings on the surface.

The political intelligence of the city is growing – there will come a time when the public will be ready for the thrust and parry of toe to toe debates

The public now has a video of every ward debate and two of the Mayoralty debate. There is no reason for not being informed.

What the city is up against is a level of apathy and complacency that is also part of the city’s DNA.

What this has given us is seven years of tax increases that are at the 4% level each year; a city council that decided it would let the citizens speak but wouldn’t actually hear what they had to say.

There is an opportunity to replace the four members of the current city council or stick with them and make room for the three new members that will be elected.

Is Burlington at a tipping point – the public gets to decide on October 22nd.

The debates:

Sitting in the aisles

They sat in the aisles at Central high school to hear the debate.

Ward 1
Ward 2
Ward 3
Ward 4
Ward 5
Ward 6 ECoB
Ward 6 St George
Mayors debate ECOB
Burlington Green Mayor debate

Full house 350

There was Standing Room only – and very little of that for the ward 2 debate.

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5 comments to Seven debates and what do we know about ourselves?

  • Phllip Wooster

    One thing we know is that Lancaster and Sharman did not have the courage to face the electorate in a debate and do NOT deserve to be reelected. Similarly, Jack Dennison who highly manipulated the debate format to his advantage, also does not deserve to be elected.
    And of course, given the records of these 3 councillors who for the most part couldn’t be bothered listening to citizen delegations at City Hall and who were more than content to vote against the residents of Burlington, they don’t deserve to be reelected. Let’s hope the electorate are informed and turn out to vote on October 22.

  • Mark Carr

    We should all thank Penny Hersh and the ECoB team for organizing the “debates”, in all wards, and for the position of Mayor. Regardless of experiences anyone may have, as moderator for 5 events, the method of choosing questions was entirely at my discretion and was a fair representation of the audience’s concerns. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of this democratic activity and for bringing this, much needed, process to the citizens of Burlington.

  • steven craig gardner

    when I read candidate Meed ward’s brochure all I can see is spend spend spend so if she is elected we may look back on 4% as the good old days as I am unable to see her budgeting for all her promises.

  • Susan L.

    Perhaps Councillors Sharman and Lancaster believe they will be re-elected simply because they are the incumbents for their wards. That’s the way it has always worked in the past.

    We are living in interesting times.

  • joe gaetan

    We will evolve beyond the tipping point, if and only if people take the time to get out and vote. There is no excuse for not knowing where each candidate (M.I.A’s excepted) stand on the main issues facing this city. All ECoB debates can be found on-line. Based on the quality and quantity of candidates I foresee vote splitting as being a factor in this election and a good reason to not be complacent if you favour a particular candidate. I would encourage voters to check out the millennial mayoral debate as well.