Steve Cussons takes a strip off the Mayor's hide after the ECoB debate.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 11th, 2018



We hear about video and tweets going viral, which in Burlington might mean 8,000 souls.

Steve Cussons, an Aldershot resident and a member of the PAR Committee that was put in place to allow school parents to debate the various options that were being discussed when school closing issues were keeping everyone up late at night.

Steve Cussons AldershotCussons was attending the ECoB debate and went ballistic when he heard Mayor Goldring take a swipe at Marianne Meed Ward during his closing remarks.  The Mayor had done basically the same thing at the Burlington Green debate when he stunned that audience with his remarks, again, about Meed Ward.

She wants his job and he isn’t going to let her have it without a fight. And if it takes a punch to the kidneys – so be it.

For Cussons this was no-go area.  A couple of minutes after the closing of the debate Cussons got himself in front of the Mayor and let it all hang out.

and took on the Mayor after the debate at Central high school Tuesday evening.

The Steve Cussons dust up with the Mayor is a click away.


The Burlington Green debate – closing remarks are at the 1:50:00 minute point.

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41 comments to Steve Cussons takes a strip off the Mayor’s hide after the ECoB debate.

  • Marie

    People often forget that behind every carefully posed video is a person who was set up to film this interaction and share it on social media.

    This is just another amateur election ad intended to smear one candidate.

    The film begins with the speaker’s speech and ends with applause from his friends and supporters. Cheerleaders.

    The games are being played by both sides. I didn’t vote for Rick Goldring, but neither did I vote for MMW.

    • Steve Cussons

      Marie, of course you are welcome to your opinion but as the person in the video I take exception to your accusation. My conversation with the Mayor was not planned but a knee jerk reaction to his comments. I am not part of Meed Wards campaign but am a supporter and do know people in her campaign. I did not ask this to be published but it was and I am okay with it as I believe in what I said and the reason why I said it. Would you have preferred who ever it was that recorded it shown the 5 miutes prior while I waited to talk to the mayor and my leaving the building after the few individuals applauded what i said. It was a large public gathering you know.

  • Sharon

    Steve Cussons actually that is where you are wrong MMW’s closing comments were after Rick Goldring’s. And she did make comments directed to Rick Goldring. Getting pretty tired of the attack on the “Bateman people”. I think you have said quite enough! Us Bateman people know what we saw, we know what we have heard. Whether you want to admit to it or not. So keep living in your MMW is perfect dreamworld. You have been officially hired at MMW watchdog!

    • Steve Cussons

      For clarity, MMW asked the moderator for the allowed time that was promised at the beginning for a candidate to respond to a negative attack prior . She was denied. therefore I guess she had to choose to present her planned closing remarks or respond to the attack. Which I thought I had made clear earlier. But hopefully that clarfies your comment.

      As I have now said in detail in my responses to the many comments regaring this article I apologize to the Bateman community as a whole. My wide brush statements were not meant for the community as a whole just the select few who continue the conversation around this issue.

      I am voting for MMW but I am absolutely NOTpart of her campaign regardless of what you may think. If all the slander was directed at you Sharon as a fellow member of the PAR committee I would be standing up for you as well.

      Steve Cussons

  • Michael

    Seems extremely hypocritical that MMW consistently criticizes the ‘current mayor’ (her words), and the Mayor says something and gets this reaction? Not condoning his actions, but only seems fair given her daily social media rants on him.

    Also convenient someone taped it and it ends up on here; given Mr. Parr’s bias to MMW i am hardly surprised.

    P.S. I didnt vote for either of them.

    • Tom Muir


      I think that the Boo-meter, and the Cheer-meter that I heard that night are telling us that this incident is totally different than the question and answer content and structure of the meeting.

      Goldring overreached, the crowd either booed (indignation) or cheered (blood want), but that was the only time, and he did it twice.

      Let’s let the crowd’s reaction tell us there is a difference and stop quibbling.

  • Tom Muir


    If you are not Denise Davy, who I saw was associated with Bateman, then I owe you an apology for sure.

    I just saw no reason for your reaction to Steve’s calling out of the Mayor, and the tone of your comment about prejudice, without evidence, and your name just jumped out at me. In any case, I still think you were harsh and in the wrong place.

    If you are not this person, then there is no point and it is inappropriate for me to continue, and respond to your comment here
    I hope you find the peace you deserve. I can appreciate having children as well to heal is enough burden and I will add no more.

    We are all trying to heal from this outrage that Goldring has reminded us that he just let happen without as much as a whimper, and then he shifts the blame to MMW. He chose to bring up this outrage, not you or I.

    Again, if my aim was wrong I’m sorry.

    • Denise

      Hi Tom,

      I am not Denise Davy, although I did work with her while we were fighting to keep our school open. We all know what happens when you assume.


      • Tom Muir

        Yes, more lesson(s) learned.

        First, I assumed you were her, and you are correct on that, and I apologize again, but you just sounded like her anger and issues, and used the same first name that she always used.

        Second lesson, and this is an old problem – if you (and everyone for that matter) used your full name such mistakes as mine would not happen.

        This should be a rule around here – no pen names or part names. If you want to speak here and be accountable, then identify yourself please.

        So if you are coming on-line more then tell us who you are. Next time, tell us your full name to distinguish yourself from her.

        Have a nice weekend, and I am sorry if I gave you a partly misplaced set of grief. Next time I will be more careful.

  • Michael Hribljan

    Many thanks to Steve for calling out the Mayor on this disgraceful situation. I find it very ironic that the Mayor refers to Facebook as “Fakebook” during the debate but seems to have fallen into the trap of aligning himself with some of this missinformation. He calls out Mayoral Candidate Meed Ward as focusing all her efforts on Central and not representing the whole of Burlington. The reality is she was the ONLY politician representing Burlington on this issue when all others were cowardly ducking for cover. Was he not aware of the CBC story about Candidate Meed Ward at Queens Park asking for a moratorium on all school closures? Or the radio interview at one of the Hamilton stations that she participated in discussing this as a major issue in the Province, impacting Burlington and many other towns and communities? I guess that was a FakeNewsReport and FakeRadio.

    What I find two faced, is that fact that Mayor Goldring attempts to use the City’s code of conduct to justify the use of this misinformation to bash his fellow candidate. Very hypocritical when he has yet to take any actions about Councilor Craven’s inflammatory Facebook posts, oh yes, “Fakebook”.

  • Laura

    Great job Steve!
    Rick Goldring should’ve have learned the first time by the reaction of his constituents that this type of behavior is not accepted by the residents of Burlington.
    Putting down others to elevate yourself? Not the kind of Mayor I want, and to think I voted for him last time.
    I am a life long resident of Burlington, as was my father and his parents before him and I know that they would be ashamed of our CURRENT Mayors behavior.
    We as a community are better than this.

  • Michael

    MMW has consistently taken shots at Rick, referring to him as the ‘current mayor’. Then Rick finally shows some emotion and is ridiculed? Seems extremely hypocritical. I do not condone his comments, however, understand his frustration.

    Also convenient that someone captured it on video then Mr. Parr posts it? Though given how biased Mr. Parr is in his articles for MMW I am not surprised…

  • Tom Muir

    I’m really having a problem here as I don’t know who will win this election for Mayor, and I want to work with whoever wins to bring about things that have been said and need to be done immediately.

    But having said that, as I was satisfactorily listening to what the candidates were saying in their closing comments, I was then shocked into what I thought was Mayor Goldring losing it, with his mind disconnected from his tongue,

    I was deeply involved in the schools debate and this cheap shot at MMW was totally aberrant and from my direct experience, is untruthful and hypocritical.

    At this Central debate closing comments, the Mayor said he represented all the factions and citizens in the city, but in actuality, based on my active experience, when it came to the schools debate he stayed as far away from it as he could.

    I went to two meeting with him at city hall with the Save Pearson people, so I know what I heard and what he did. He said he refused to get into it to represent the city as a whole, because in his own words, he didn’t have a vote on the matter, so he didn’t want to spend time on it. It would be wasted he said in the end.

    But at Central the other night, did he not say that representing the whole city and factions was his duty as Mayor? And then go on further to project the blame and rancor for the schools closing debacle on MMW?

    So remember, he is the Mayor as he said at Central, but in our Pearson group meeting he was refusing to publicly enter the debate on school closings and the impacts on the city when it was the most critical time to step up.

    However, for reasons I stated, he didn’t see it to be in his personal interest and agenda. He said that the Board had all the experts so let them do it and he retreated from the field.

    It was apparent that all he did was talk about it in-house and so they talked themselves out of doing anything or getting involved.

    And now, after this latest display of last minute nasty blame-shifting, obviously pandering to someone in the front rows who cheered him on, he now proclaims himself to be a real Mayor, standing up for all the people and factions, and dons the robe of office cloaked in hypocrisy.

    He made some statements that basically said that MMW was so consumed and focused by the PAR, that was what she was doing so much that she was unable to perform her occupation as Councilor.

    That is my read, which is why I am so taken aback and writing this. I just can’t understand or accept why he would do this in the debate meeting on the key issues facing this city in such an aberrant way.

    In my opinion, what he has said twice is oral defamation, in which he tells tells hundreds of people in the audience an untruth about another, which untruth is intended to harm the reputation of the person defamed.

    Go and listen to the video and see how this harm and malice are obvious. It did not go over peoples heads. Hear the boos and call outs. View the video of Cussons calling out what I think and agree with as what is being done to try and ruin someone’s life with slanted falsehoods.

    MMW entered the PAR process for Ward 2 legitimately, and after being vetted. Like everyone else, she had no idea of how the Board was going to play the parents groups off against one another.

    She did what they all did, and for Goldring to criticize her and only her, basically slandering and defaming her character, personifies his hypocrisy in the whole schools issue.

    The schools are water under the bridge and are irrelevant in this election except if all you are interested in is revenge, or blood that someone wants, or desperate self-interest.

    At first I thought, what was he thinking – has he lost his mind? I was shocked.

    But then I read comments here praising him and saying they will vote for him based on just this action. Are these people crazy in thinking that this 30 seconds is enough? Or are they Trolls, planted to say these things?

    Let me tell you something. Based on the two meetings with the Pearson people that I participated in, the Mayor did f-all for them and I.

    He never did a public thing to speak for the city and sustain some public effort to try and influence the process. This was our ask and I saw nothing.

    I told MMW this very view, on the day of the second meeting with the Mayor, in the lobby of city hall as she just happened to walk by and saw the group and stopped to talk to them.

    As she was leaving, wishing us luck, I told he flat out, our last words, the the Mayor was doing, as I said, f-all for these people, but I said the full words.

  • George

    I will be voting for MMW on October 22nd, 2018 and I thought Current Mayor Mr. Rick Goldring was in error for his criticism of MMW during the debate.

    However, Mr. Goldring showed considerable restraint towards Mr. Steve Cussons who waved his finger and berated Mr. Goldring excessively in his staged rant.

    One must remember that it was Mr. Steve Cussons who shamelessly berated and besmirched without merit, only a couple of weeks ago a mother who advocated for her neighbourhood high school.

    Should Mr. Steve Cussons continue his attacks and assaults in the same crass and obnoxious manner it might be a recommendation that he attain nose protection as his next victim might not be the gentleman or lady he has chosen to assault recently.

    • Steve Cussons

      Hey George I don’t know who you are but lets do some fact checking. I ABSOLUTELY had an aggressive conversation with Mr Goldring about HIS shameless attack on Marianne Meed Ward If you had been there I can tell you Mr. Goldring did not have constraint but chose to listen. My finger movement is part of how I speak when I am angry or agitated, it was not in his face.
      Regarding a staged rant???? Did I know Mr Goldring was going to go down the slippery path he did in his closing remarks, I don’t think so. It was a boiling point for me with him and others who have continued their attacks for months on the same person you said you are voting for.

      Please clarify who I shamelessly berated and besmirched without merit a couple of weeks ago. If you are referring to the person I called out for publishing texts, I had all the merit to call her out on this as she was the catalyst who started the very issue this conversation is about.. And please show me where my comments were an assault on this person, they were only laying facts. In addition your statement “mother who advocated for her neighboorhood school” is the same very reason why I chose to confront Mr. Goldring and others as it is the very same reason why Marianne Meed Ward was on the par committee. Why is she being attacked and singled out for being ” a mother who advocated for her neighbourhood school”. So I am confused at your hostility towards me, I chose to defend Marianne from the barrage of ongoing attacks. Unlike others who have only bellowed online I had the courage to confront in person. I agree it wasn’t pretty but either was Mr. Goldrings performance. In case you didn’t know I was member of that PAR committee for 9 months.

      Again if you knew me your suggestion of my being crass and obnoxious is far from my general demeanour. Yes these ongoing attacks on this issue have left me anxious, mad and now ready to stand up and push back on these bullies and liars. It takes two to tango.

      Am I proud that I had to get that state in a confrontation with the mayor, no! But I did not start it. I knew he had to be told in person not by a response online to some article about this after the fact.

      Your last statement reads to me like a threat on me physically. Please clarify this is what you meant. if you really want to debate this please share who are completely not hiding being a first name. As you have obviously seen, I am not hiding!!!!!

  • steven craig gardner

    Very plain and simple MMW should apologize for being part of Par process while on council even if her special meetings her text messages meant nothing it smells and leaves a bad taste in the mouths of some of us whose schools were closed. Had she not been part of PAR and same decision made no issue for any of us. Bad call.

    • Steve Cussons

      Steven, I totally disagree with your reasoning in your statement but…. Lets say you are correct, the only reason you and others would “have a bad taste in your mouth” is a result of a few individuals who now include Rick Goldring who have consistently pushed to make it a big issue by suggesting she had a serious part in the closing of either of the schools. That is plain false and those who took the time to be part of or followed the PAR (which I believe you did) know that Marianne had no more of a role in the decision than did Lisa Bull or Sharon from Bateman, Cheryl Delugt or Steve Armstrong from Pearson. We all new who she was at the very first meeting, it was discussed and all were happy to move on. So for those of you with that bad taste, the blame lays squarely on those who continue to promote the false accusations which Marianne was not one of. Without their meddling as you say “no issue for any of us” would have been the norm for you.

  • Marie

    After seeing this video I can affirm that I will not be voting for MMW and her select gang of cheerleaders.

  • Pam Casey

    I stand behind Rick Goldring 100%. i think if Mr. Cussons had an issue with what Rick said during his closing remarks, then he should have spoken with him afterwards. However i believe this was a set up and video taping the conversation was wrong. By using this tape in your publication, you are taking this nasty election to further lows. Rick Goldring was speaking the truth in my estimation and MMW should not have sat on the PAR committee at all. Also the ECOB should not have held the final debate in Ward 2 and at the high school which was saved. There was an error in their judgement to say the least.

    • Peter

      The set-up is Goldring’s only. He read prepared remarks as part of his closing remarks because he knew MMW would not be given extra time to rebut. The audience did not know he was going to do this.

      Pam, he’s a grown man – let’s not coddle him as if he is a man-child. No one made him go negative with his unfounded comments.

      The school closures is incredibly painful; no one wants this for our community. But he is incredibly callous to use this issue for his own political survival.

    • Steve Cussons

      I did wait until after the debate was over. In fact it was probably 20 minutes after the debate. I was still very upset with his comments and when I saw him still there I went to him. Also I waited patiently and quietly for approximately 5 minutes while he talked with other constituents. He then turned to me to ask what I wanted. That is when I began my conversation. This was by no means planned or in fact in my general character but this issue is personal to me and I take offence to those including Goldring for exploiting it. I am not a Central parent, I am citizen who offers my time and resource in many areas of this city and unlike most individuals I chose to take my concerns and opinions directly to the source in person rather than hiding behind a screen.

    • Grahame

      Pam, ECOB held debates at Bateman, Hayden, Nelson, MM Robinson, and Central High Schools.
      I feel that they provided the citizens of this city a chance to come together and become informed.
      At this particular debate representatives stopped anyone at the door wearing anything that showed support for a candidate. KUDOS !!!
      Its a shame that Mayor Goldrings campaign people put their pins back on once out of sight of the organizers.
      Rules and Respect, something that’s seems to be missing with certain campaigns.

  • Louise F.

    “The Bateman people”??? And make sure you’ve got a supportive gang surrounding you recording your performance. I was unsure about my vote for Mayor but after seeing this video, Rick Goldring, 100%.

    • Steve Cussons

      Yes and to be clear when I state “The Bateman People” it is directed towards a very specific individuals that have been very active spewing mistruths about the whole Par process and Mariannes role and power in it. As I had not planned this confrontation with Mr. Goldring and certainly not planning it be recorded and published. I upfront apologize to the general population at Bateman as that was not my intent to suggest the overall Bateman community in my personal conversation with Goldring. But it does stand for those few who continue to bash with fact from the Bateman community. They know who they are.

      Regarding the gang, those individuals knew how I was feeling at Mr. Goldrings comments and I waited patiently for over 5 minutes while he talked with other constituents to talk to him. Others noticed and gathered as would be expected. So again I am not part of Central, I live in Ward 1 and I am not part of anyones campaign including Marianne Meed Ward.

      • Denise

        Steve, Your prejudice against the Bateman Community is getting very tiring. I hope none of the students at the school see this video or your accusations against their community. We have enough on our hands to work on transitioning our students to new schools without you causing more anxiety and stress. If you consider this an apology to our community than it is a sad one at that and I for one find it unacceptable. I have 2 children at Bateman, one will be the last graduating class of Bateman and the other (who has special education needs) will have to transition in his grade 12 year. I fought hard to keep our school open, I attended every PAR meeting,it is my right as a parent and a member of the community, I have accepted the decision with much difficulty and would appreciate it if you would stop throwing it back in our faces. I am working very hard to make sure EVERY child has the support they need to transition. Please leave us alone to do that work and be grateful that it is not your school that is closing.

        • Tom Muir


          Can you please tell me where Steve shows prejudice against Bateman?

          And I mean prejudice. I don’t want just more of you guys complaining again against anyone who speaks out.

          What I really see is you and Lisa Bull apparently involved in the continuing hostility against MMW, and the recruitment of Mayor Goldring to help you in your vengeance seekingl. If you are so getting into acceptance, then leave MMW alone.

          Goldring did nothing for you guys, or anyone for that matter, and you can see my comment today about this. You know about what the Pearson group was doing and what I was writing about the process.

          Frankly, I have been listening to your continuing complaints against anyone who says something you don’t like, and your seeming special plea that no one suffered quite like you guys. It’s beyond tiresome with your latest attack on Steve for reasons you are concocting from this bitterness.

          I agree that Bateman should not have been closed, and I argued for this consistently for reasons of the students. If you have a court case I hope you win.

          But put down the sword. You are mistaken about who your enemies are.

          • Denise

            Tom, you obviously have me confused with someone else. I take offense to your comments since I have done nothing to slander Marianne or her campaign, nor any of the candidates. In fact, I did not slander her in my post. Prejudice may not have been the right word, perhaps painting us all with the same brush would have been better. I am not sure who you have been listening to constantly complain but it is not me. I don’t know what you are talking about a court case. I was merely pointing out to Steve that some of us are trying to put the horrible way this all went down behind us and do what is best for our kids. Our communities have been pulled apart and pitted against each other and that was wrong. I believe there is enough fault all around for why and how that happened. Was I angry with some of Marianne’s suggestions during the Par, yes, but at no point did I “attack” her or any of the members oDf the Par personally.
            Frankly Tom you have made many assumptions here about who I am and my involvement. I don’t support Mayor Rick’s actions but then I don’t like any mud slinging, tell me what you are going to do for me.
            I put my sword down a long time ago, in my view we exhausted all our avenues and now we must deal with the fallout. I believe we need new trustees because I believe most of them do not understand how difficult they make it for children with exceptionalities. I have been working with them for 4 years and I watched them close the learning centers without understanding the vital service they played. Did anyone stand up for those students? Pleae, just leave the Bateman community to do the work we have ahead so our students can be happy, healthy and successful.

        • Steve Cussons

          I have absolutely no prejudice against the Bateman community. In fact all I have is empathy for what each of you are now going through. I wish only the best for each and every student and of course their families. I would not want to be in that position. So again my apologies to everyone in the Bateman community if my comment seemed as directed to the community. because it was wasn’t. My push back is directed only to a specific few individuals who have been very active in trying slander Marianne and others by suggesting she had any roll in the decision to close Bateman and Pearson. I would actually prefer to let this whole topic go away but as long as individuals continue to bring it up I am compelled to respond out of my personal belief it is wrong.

          I wish only the best of outcomes for the Bateman community and if there was something I could to do help in this difficult transition I would be stepping up to help that community as well as the Pearson community.

          Steve Cussons

          • Denise


            I understand the need to respond. Please, just direct the response correctly. What I saw of you during the Par was respectful, unfortunately the Par was set up to put one community against another rather than a collaborative approach. It didn’t help that the facilitator really wasn’t up to the job


  • Hans

    Well said! Kudos to Mr. Cussons!
    And “thank you” to the person who recorded this.

  • Elaine O'B

    Thank you Steve Cussons

  • Penny

    When I heard that Mayor Goldring had been booed at the Burlington Green Mayoral Debate for negative statements made against Marianne Meed Ward I had to question who was advising him.

    On Tuesday at the Mayoral Debate at Burlington Central High School when he did the same thing I could only think that perhaps he knows that he may not be reelected and has decided to do anything and everything in his power to make certain Marianne did not win. What else can account for this type of behaviour from a man who has tried for the last 8 years to make residents think of him as “a really nice man, who listens”?

    Mr. Goldring, after this election, should you not be reelected, how will you face the residents after this shameful display. There is life after October 22nd and you will have to deal with the decisions you made during this campaign.

    It does not seem to end there, now Mike Wallace has political advertisements doing the same thing. I had been told that politics is a dirty business and I had predicted months ago that this would be a nasty election, but never anticipated this.

    Residents need to do their homework. Read what each candidate has to offer and how their vote will make Burlington a better place for generations.

    I would also suggest that candidates take the time to explain in language that can be understood by the average resident what is happening in their city. Many residents don’t have the time to know what an OP is and how it will affect them. If there was ever a time for residents to get out and vote it is now.

    I know for a fact that every candidate running for election is willing to pick up those residents who need transportation to the polls. Call them. YOUR VOTE MATTERS.

  • SteveW

    Actually 1:32 are Ricks comments. He said something similar re Marianne but less vigorously in another debate I attended. Loved the video at the end.

  • Concerned Ward 3 Citizen

    Lights, camera, action! Central parents once again putting on a spectacle and love to give the heat but not take it! Perfect camera angle! Just short of a bad production. Focus on the ENTIRE CITY NOT just downtown people. Give your heads a SHAKE

    • Steve Cussons

      First off I live in Ward 1. Secondly I am not part of Central High School nor am I part of Marianne Meed Wards campaign. Will I be voting for her absolutely! But my beef is with those who continue to try and use Marianne’s role in the PAR as anything more than just one of 14 community volunteer members without any power to help provide input on such a difficult subject. Each member of that committee had strong opinions and voiced them. Why do we continue to just call her out. The interaction with Rick Goldring was not planned and I did not share with anyone that I would confront Rick but those who know me knew his actions that night had put me over the edge and I reacted. That fact that I used my voice in person is much better that hiding behind social media and online. The fact that is got recored was not at my request but I am fine with it.

    • Kerri

      Steve is not a Central parent.

    • Grahame

      Please read the article again, Mr Cussons is from Ward 1 and represented Aldershot on the PAR Committee, but does it really matter?
      I agree 100% that we need to focus on the ENTIRE CITY. Commenting negatively towards Central parents is divisive behaviour.
      I believe that no school should be closed. With the current plan for growth where will our children go to school. Our school board and current Mayor have let us down by dividing our many communities.
      Save Bateman, save Pearson, save all walkable community schools!!! We can’t build new schools on top of highrise condos when over intensification becomes a reality, and our next generation require an education.
      Lets not SHAKE our heads, lets keep them on straight so that we can make sound decisions rather than blaming, finger pointing, and inciting hatred towards our neighbors.
      Burlington we are better than this!!!!!

    • joe gaetan

      Declare yourself “Concerned Ward 3 Citizen” or don’t bother responding.

  • Karen O.

    Wow..Many thanks Steve for calling the mayor out on his deplorable behaviour. As always you delivered your message in a calm but direct manner.

  • Jim Ridley

    It might have been “cool” if Steve had given Rick a chance to respond to his accusation, instead of walking out.

    • Steve Cussons

      Why should Rick have been given a chance to respond when Marianne Meed Ward was not given a chance at the actual meeting. And this was not planned but just my knee jerk reaction to these ongoing negative responses to Marianne being a concerned parent in this role. He certainly did not show me he wanted to respond so hence the reason for walking out at the end of it. I am happy to debate this specific subject with Rick Goldring or anyone.