The candidates for Mayor set out the broad brush strokes of their campaigns.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

June 29th, 2018



Round two of the race that will determine who will be Mayor of Burlington on October 23rd, has taken place.

MMW speaking Ap 11

Ward 2 candidate Meed Ward holds her announcement on a dead end street in Aldershot- she was running for Mayor – was there ever any doubt this would happen?

The first round had the Mayor making a statement at a golf club, Mike Wallace held a media event on the sidewalk outside city hall and Meed Ward gathered her tribe at a small dead end street in Aldershot.

The second round had Ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward holding a fund raiser at Joe Dogs on Brant Street, the Mayor holding an event at Faraway Indoor Golf on Tuesday and Mike Wallace holding his event at Emma’s Back Porch last night.

Our correspondent reports that “The event at Joe Dogs was great, there was a wonderful buzz and energy in the room. People were excited and happy.”

“There were between 105 and 115 people there, people paid $25 to get in and at times we had lineups at the door. There was a real mix of people – all ages, from all parts of the city, all races and genders, all political stripes. The volunteers and supporters seemed to be proud that Meed Ward was not being backed or funded by any party, riding association, current or former MPPs or MPs.

“It appeared to me to be a real grass-roots bunch.

MMW dancer - June 2018

Some of the entertainment at the Meed Ward fund raiser.

“There were some young ladies doing highland dancing, campaign t-shirts and car magnets were on sale – thy almost sold out on those. Slated to end at 9:30, many hung around much longer than that. This correspondent had work to do at home.

“Meed Ward spoke about over-development, losing retail space, losing greenspace, not enough parking, amenity space, and a lack of affordability. She also spoke about the need for more respect from city hall for residents and their input. She stressed that residents must work together to ensure their best interests are being served which is what she committed herself to do as Mayor.”

Meed Ward has plans for events throughout the city. The next one is scheduled for September 13 at the Polish Hall

Rick Goldring had a good turnout – however he didn’t speak at any length. He mentioned that the city had put up $60 million as its share of the transformed Joseph Brant Hospital.  Money had been put into culture and the Nelson pool had been replaced.

Goldring added that tax increases were within inflation rates – which just isn’t true.  Inflation hasn’t been anywhere near 4%; tax increases have been above 4%

Goldring at Inspire April 2015

Goldring explaining intensification at a 2015 event.

Goldring explained that his first term of office was a Clean Up phase but he didn’t elaborate on what it was he cleaned up.

The second term of office was the setting up phase.  He made mention of the Strategic Plan and the Official Plan but again he didn’t elaborate on what was important about the two initiatives.

Phase three, implementation of the set up but not a word about what that implementation was going to look like.

Goldring 5 reasons

Goldring made mention of the city being th best Canadian mid sized city to live in.  He did mention that a new listing of the best city’s is due out soon.  What id Burlington gets a downgrade?

Mike Wallace chose a small space at Emmas Back Porch and packed the space. Sweltering hot.

Dwight Ryan, a CHCH retiree served as Master of Ceremonies and got the laughs he wanted then introduced Connor Clark, a Nelson high school student who is going to represent students on the Halton District School Board.

Clark was positioned as the vision for the future, the bright young man that was raised and educated in Burlington and after university would come back to Burlington where he could work and raise his own family. The audience, that had very few young people, loved it.

Then Keith Strong took to the podium and gave a run down on the other candidates in the race. He did a superb hatchet job on Meed Ward, made the briefest mention possible of the candidate from Aldershot and cut up the Mayor for his lack of leadership.

Strong was direct in his criticism of Meed Ward. She is disruptive, she creates conflict, she always argues, she isn’t a team player and she promises but never completes, said Strong.  Strong words indeed.

After doing a classic political hatchet job on the other three candidates Strong got into what Mike Wallace brings to the table.

Caroline Wallace

Caroline Wallace

Caroline Wallace, who was described as Burlington’s next first lady, took to the podium after Strong and read her speech. She said she wanted to make sure she got it all right. She is a solid, supportive candidate’s wife.

Then it was Mike’s turn – and he didn’t disappoint. After telling people that he was running because Mayor Goldring was not doing the job Wallace then laid out two platform planks.

He said he would ask his fellow council members to support him in creating a larger council and suggested that eight members plus a Mayor for a nine member council is what the city needed.

Then he launched into an idea that will surprise many. Mike told the audience about a place in Toronto called Liberty Village. It’s where the entrepreneurial crowd live and work. Some describe the place as almost like a university campus.

Wallace wants young people to be able to stay in Burlington and work in the city – and a Liberty Village is just the ticket he said.


The Liberty Village community in Toronto is the place to live and work in Toronto for the younger, hip, entrepreneurial set. Mike Wallace wants some of this t exist in Burlington,

He wouldn’t say just where this Liberty Village should/could be built; all he was doing was floating an idea. It wasn’t a bad idea, some complications, but at least there was an idea on the table that was more than Mayor Goldring was offering at his campaign kickoff event.

According to Wallace Tansley Wood was a Wallace invention. He said he was the force behind the creation of the Tansley Wood community centre when he got the city and the province to work together.

Mike in full campaign mode

Mike Wallace in full campaign mode.

Wallace was brutal when it came to describing the Mayor. “There is no vision” said Wallace but there are growth pressures on Burlington from the province. Places to Grow is a provincial policy but we don’t have to let Queen’s Park just run over us” said Wallace.

“We have to push back at the Regional and provincial levels and this Mayor does not have the ability to do that.”

“There is no vision and there is a lack of pride.”

The kicker was when he asked: Who made the New Street decision.

Wallace said he believes he has a better shot at getting results from Queen’s Park than anyone else running for the job of Mayor.

There is no magic wand in the hands of the Mayor said Wallace. He said he believed a Mayor should lead and not just complain. “The demographics are against us in Burlington” said Wallace. “We have to attract the young people back to the city but right now there is no place for them to live.”

Randall Reff - The secomnd worst environmental waste depsoit in the country is pretty close to home isn't it

Randall Reff – The second worst environmental waste deposit in the country is pretty close to home isn’t it

Wallace said he was Ok with the new city plan and he was just fine with the mobility hubs/ “But we need someone to do those things.”

Wallace took credit for getting millions spent on the Randall Reef in Hamilton Harbour that was polluting the water in Burlington Bay. He pointed to the $250 million he said he brought to Burlington as the Member of Parliament.

It was a tough, no holds barred campaign speech. The Gazette has never heard Mike Wallace sound this aggressive before. Mike was known for his laugh, you heard the laugh before you saw the man.

He wasn’t laughing Wednesday night at Emmas Back Porch.  Mike Wallace wants back in and he is going to give the other candidates a rough ride.

Greg Woodruff, the most recent candidate to file nomination papers  has yet to hold a public event.

Meed Ward web site is at:”

Goldring’s campaign web site is at:

Mike Wallace web site:


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5 comments to The candidates for Mayor set out the broad brush strokes of their campaigns.

  • D Walker

    Has Keith Strong attended a council meeting and spoken? In my experience, Meed Ward is one of the few councillors who listens attentively and asks meaningful questions of the speakers.

    I agree with William that Wallace needed to make his presence and opinions known before now if he wants a seat at the table. When many Burlingtonians have been more active at city council meetings than him over the past year, that says something.

  • Ted Griffith

    Thanks to the Gazette for covering all the events – the only media outlet to do so. A correction, however, Mike Wallace never claimed responsibility for Tansley Woods. The topic of Tansley Woods was discussed at the event by Campaign Chair Keith Strong. He identified it as an example of what great mayors in our city USED to do, such as Walter Mulkewich and his leadership on creating a community centre in north Burlington (Tansley Woods). Mike has led many projects in Burlington – such the Performing Arts Centre, Appleby Arena (rather than expanding Nelson Arena), and Paletta Mansion (rather than a townhouse development).

    Editor’s Note: We are always grateful when professional news people recognize what we manage to do and are polite when they point out our errors. It was indeed Keith Strong who made the reference to Tansley Woods. If Keith Strong said something you know it is true – right!

  • William

    Wallace has zero credibility given his absence on the Official Plan discussion. Though he announced he was running for mayor last winter, he didn’t utter a word in council chambers about the city’s plans for the downtown or the mobility hubs. Speaking up at his own campaign event doesn’t take much courage.

    And hasn’t Keith Strong flitted from Cam Jackson to Rick Goldring and now Wallace? Next election will he be supporting Meed Ward? Transactional loyalty doesn’t count for much.

  • Hans

    From what I’ve read in the Gazette, under Goldring’s leadership we’ve had an apparently rogue planning department that supported “development” (more like “exploitation”) vastly different from what was approved in the existing official plan – a plan that should have been enforced until a new one actually replaced it.
    IMO, that alone disqualifies him as a viable candidate for mayor.

  • “Liberty Village” is a good model. It’s on one of the slide decks that I use to illustrate the following point: Liberty Village is a “hybrid redevelopment” where there is a large amount of surface level parking all over the place and one large parking lot in the development.

    The new official plan does not contemplate anything like that. The “Mobility Hub” specification hardly calls for shopping or entertainment – just condos for train passengers.